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Why is Montana so amazing?
Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbook pages, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Montana? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Montana, look no further! This is part of a series of pages I created while teaching about the fifty states. You can find the links for my pages for each of the 50 states at Teaching the 50 States of America .
Fun Tidbit About the State: Sapphires
Judith Basin has only sapphire mine in the US, and it has a special type of sapphire that is only found there. Supposedly, it is the only sapphire in the world that is naturally blue straight from the ground. Other sapphires must be fire-treated to reach the cornflower blue color associated with sapphires used in jewelry.
Fun Tidbit About the State: Glacier National Park
With 250 lakes and gorgeous Rocky Mountain scenery, Glacier National Park is the most visited place in the state Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is considered one of the most scenic drives in the US.
Fun Tidbit About the State: Custer's Last Stand
Near Billings, Lieutenant Colonel Custer and the 7th Cavalry Regiment took their last stand as they were slaughtered by the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people including Crazy Horse.
We preferred the History Channel version of Custer's Last Stand.
Fun Tidbit About the State: Varieties of Mammals
Montana has the largest variety of mammals in the US. It has the most grizzly bears and trumpeter swans in the lower US and the largest migratory elk herd in all of the US. Pronghorn antelope actually outnumber humans in the state!
Fun Tidbit About the State: Artist Charles Marion Russell
As a teenager Charlie Russell moved to Montana where he unsuccessfully worked on a sheep ranch. He eventually took up painting, at which he was much more successful. Through his art he captured The Old West. Many of his works, along with his home and studio, can be seen at Charles M. Russell Museum Complex in Great Falls.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Montana
Our Favorite Picture Books on Montana
This is my favorite series on individual states. Each page has a simple rhyme concerning the word starts with that letter and then includes a bit more about that particular regional animal, location, etc. It provides a wonderful overview of what makes each state unique. Both modern and historical aspects of the state are includes. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful!
First Dog: Unleashed in the Montana Capitol by Jessica Solberg is a cute story that mainly talks about how the state government operates. The story is told from the point of view of the governor's border collie.
Good Night Montana (Good Night Our World) Board book by Adam Gamble is part of a wonderful series of board books that goes through the main landmarks, history, etc. of each state. It has wonderful illustrations and the perfect amount of text to make it ideal for the youngest of listeners. This board book on Montana includes dinosaur digging, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, elk, grizzly bears, elk, cattle ranches, and more.
Montana's Sights and Symbols (Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jaycee Kuedee is part of a great series that combines state geography with art. Each page contains something about the state (a state artist, the state flag, bird, tree, capitol building, areas of interest, and animals.) A photograph will be included along with a brief explanation about that item. Then the page opposite of that includes step by step directions on how to draw that symbol or site. Even my 6 year old is able to follow the drawing directions, and I've been amazed at how well my 9 year old has been drawing each of the state flags as he follows the instructions in the book.
Alfred Visits Montana by Elizabeth O'Neill is a cute picture book that is part of a fun series that follows Alfred the Elephant as he visits the main attractions of each state.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Artist Charles M. Russell
This was our favorite picture book on Charles M. Russell. We also enjoyed reading "How the West Was Drawn: Cowboy Charlie's Art" by Linda Osmundson and "Charlie Russell: Tale-Telling Cowboy Artist" by Lois Harris.
Children's Books on Glacier National Park
If you would like to read some children's books on Glacier National Park, try Glacier National Park: An ABC Adventure by KC Glastetter and Jeremie Hollman, Who Pooped in the Park? Glacier National Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids by Gary D. Robson and Elijah Brady Clark, and Born Wild in Glacier National Park by Donald M. Jones.
Our Favorite Children's Books on the Animals of Montana
This is a longer picture book that my older children really enjoyed reading through and my younger ones enjoyed parts of (especially the illustrations). It not only includes the basic information about the life of elk but also includes how they have interacted with people (particularly various Native American tribes) over the years.
My children loved reading lots of children's books about the wide variety of animals found in Montana. It was a challenge to pare down our favorites to just a few. I selected one from each of the animals we read about: Path of the Pronghorn by Cat Urbigkit, The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George, Grizzly Bears by Gail Gibbons, and Little Swan by Jonathan London.
Favorite Picture Books on the Battle at Little Bighorn
This was my children's favorite book on Custer's Last Stand. It is a comic book format. My 9 year old son also enjoyed reading the chapter book "Custer's Last Stand" by Quentin Reynolds, which is part of the Landmark Series. Also look for "The Battle of the Little Bighorn" (Graphic History of the American West) by Gary Jeffrey and the picture book "Crazy Horse's Vision" by Joseph Bruchac.
Chapter Books Related to Montana
Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James (336 pages) is a Newbery Medal winner is about a horse born in the wilds of Montana, is captured and trained to become a wonderful cowhorse, is stolen to work on the rodeo circuit, and finally gets to returns to the wilds of Montana.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (304 pages) is a Newbery Honor book is based on the true story of the author's great-grandmother's homesteading by herself in eastern Montana in the early 1900's.
The Loner by Ester Wier (151 pages) is a Newbery Honor book about a homeless boy who learns responsibility and finds a home among a sheep ranching family in Montana.
Alone in the Wilderness: The Story of a Present Day Native American High School Student Who Is Challenged to Spend Three Month Alone in the Beartooth Wilderness Area of Montana by Hap Gilliland (158 pages) is about a Cheyenne teenage boy who is challenged to live in the wilderness of the Montana mountains during the winter.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Montana
All About Montana provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Montana.
Montana for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Lapbook for "Where the Buffaloes Begin" offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Where the Buffaloes Begin" by Olaf Baker.