Place Name Cards

Subject: Geography/Social Studies

Grade: 4-8

Topic: Apsáalooke place names

Content: Students will learn some Apsáalooke place names and research other geographical names in their communities.

Goals: Students will think more about their surroundings, how was the street they live on named? What about our state? What do these names say about history and culture of a place.


Social Studies Standard 3: Students apply geographic knowledge and skills (e.g., location, place, human/environment interactions, movement, and regions).

Social Studies Standard 4: Students demonstrate an understanding of the effects of time, continuity, and change on historical and future perspectives and relationships.

Social Studies Standard 6: Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact of human interaction and cultural diversity on societies.

Essential Understanding 1: There is great diversity among the 12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages, cultures, histories and governments. Each Nation has a distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes to modern Montana.

Essential Understanding 3: The ideologies of Native traditional beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as tribal cultures, traditions, and languages are still practiced by many American Indian people and are incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their affairs. Additionally, each tribe has its own oral histories, which are as valid as written histories. These histories pre-date the “discovery” of North America.

Objectives: After completing this lesson students will have learned about the geographical naming process and about some Apsáalooke names.

Materials: Lesson plan, lesson cards, internet access to , library or internet access for student research.

Introduction: Students will review some of the Apsáalooke place names and origins listed on the Little Big Horn College website. Later they will play a match-up card game, then research some of the place names in their own community. Teachers and students should consider the number of names listed that demonstrate the original size of Apsáalooke country. These places lie far outside the final boundaries of the Crow Reservation set in 1904. Where were the Apsáalooke before that time?

Development: Students will learn more about geography and history of their community and the Apsáalooke community.

Practice: Students will review the Apsáalooke place names listed on the Little Big Horn College website. Teachers and students will look at a map of the West and locate the farthest points names in each direction. Teachers and students will discuss the original size of Apsáalooke country. Many of these place names lie far outside the boundaries of the Crow Reservation set in 1868. Where were the Apsáalooke before that time?

The card game: Draw a line on the floor, on the chalkboard, or somehow divide the room in two. Give each student a card with a Apsáalooke place name on it. Now each student will look on a map and see where their place name is located, on or off the current reservation boundaries. Students with names on the reservation will stand on one side of the room, students with names off the reservation on the other side of the line or room.

After this exercise students will research a name in their community and discover its origins.

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: Students will be able to name three places located off the Crow Reservation, where the Apsáalooke once lived.

Closure: Students will discuss how geographical names indicated the history and culture of an area.