Lesson
Plan #9  How Much Land is Left?
Keith Erickson
Poplar Middle School
Grade Levels: 5, 6
Links: Language, Arts, Geography, Social, Studies
Summary:
Population
and land size are two very important elements when dealing with Montana's
Indian Reservations. Determining the size of the Reservations and the
population not only make for great skills they are also very meaningful.
The children can actually compare how big the Reservations are compared
to other Reservations.
Time
Required:
Two to
Three class periods40 minutes each.
Teacher
Preparation:
The teacher
needs previous knowledge of cooperative groups and how the process of
cooperative groups works. Also, the teacher will definitely need to
get maps and a lot of information on Reservations in Montana (Ft. Peck,
Rocky Boy, Blackfeet, Flathead, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, and Fort Belknap.)
Encyclopedias, maps and an atlas are excellent sources for this lesson.
Click the
Montana map below:
Student
Preparation:
This would
be excellent when studying area and population. The students will need
information on how to determine area of an object (L x W). They will
need to know where the Montana's Reservations are located and what types
of Indians inhabit those Reservations.
Materials
for the Classroom:
Pencils
Markers
Butcher Paper
Reference Books
National
Standards:
This lesson
will cover the following NCTM Math National Standards
 Content
Standard 6  Whole Number concepts and skills
 Content
Standard 7  Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
 Content
Standard 9  Two and three dimensional geometry
Objectives:
Using area
to determine the size of Montana's seven Indian Reservations.
Introduction:
Tell the
class that Reservations are lands that their ancestors settled upon
many years ago. Explain how a treaty was signed and how many times the
signers were bribed. Also, explain how the Reservations are a sovereign
nation within the State of Montana.
Procedures
for the Classroom:
 The
kids need to be broken into heterogeneous groups by the method the
teacher chooses. You will need 23 kids in each group.
 Give
the kids a rubric telling them exactly what the teacher is looking
for in the final product. Several points should be given to working
cooperatively.
 Assign
each group a Reservation.
 Inform
the children that to find the area of an object they simply need to
multiply the length of the object times the width. An area board with
100 squares is a excellent way to demonstrate this. The length on
one side of the board is 10 squares. The width of the other side is
also 10 squares. Now, when multiplied (10 x 10) the total area of
that board will be 100 squares. Count all the squares and the children
will find that there really is 100 squares on that board.
 Each
group will then use the reference materials supplied to determine
just how large their Reservation is. Tell them to first find the length
in miles. Then find the width in miles. After they find the length
and width they apply the formula given: L x W=AREA.
 Once
these numbers are found ask each group to then measure the area of
Montana using the same formula. Once this number is found ask each
group to divide the area of Montana by the area of their Reservation.
This number will give the percentage of land in Montana that each
Reservation contains.
 Now
add all the percentages and this number will give the total percentage
of land occupied by Montana Indians.
 When
finished, using the cooperative group model, each group should be
given an assessment sheet. This sheet should deal specifically with
how the group worked together. They are to grade themselves on how
well they participated.
Facts
and Concepts:
Before
the overtaking of their land by the Europeans, the Natives who lived
here had a great abundance of land. With the advent of Reservations,
the Natives are now down to just a small percentage of the land they
used to have. Determining the area of each Reservation gives the children
a great example of just how much land the Natives used to have versus
the land they have now.
Followup
Activities:
 Finding
the perimeter of each Reservation could also be included in this lesson.
 Allow
each group to find the population and types of Indians that inhabit
the different Reservations.
 Do other
States that have Reservations and determine the area and perimeter
of those Reservations.
 Each
group can explore further on the economy and history of each Reservation.
 Make
an exact scale of the Reservation on a piece of butcher paper.
 Do a
comparison in the number of Montana Indians vs. other Montana citizens.
Evaluation
Suggestions:
 An excellent
evaluation tool is to give the kids all the Reservations on a sheet
of paper with the length and width of each Reservation. Give the kids
the length and width and have them calculate each Reservation's area.
 Another
excellent tool is to give them all the areas from largest to smallest.
Then give them the same sheet of paper with the Reservations. Have
them label each Reservation with the appropriate area. This is a example
of a cooperative group assessment. There are many different examples
of these types of assessment sheets. Each person in the group receives
a sheet to fill out. Emphasis should be given on honesty. The kids
should be very honest when filling this out.
 How
Well Did We Do? Have them answer yes or no
 Everyone
in the group participated?
 We worked
together?
 Everyone
had a role?
References
Bryan, William J. Montana's Indians: Yesterday and Today. 1996. American
& World Geographic Publishing.
