Content Standards and Model Curriculum Guide Documents

For questions about these standards and documents email
Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.

Access the 2021 Montana Content Standards for Social Studies (Official PDF).

Access the 2021 Montana Content Standards for Social Studies (Excel).

Webinar: New Standards for 2021: Overview and Planning for Implementation (February 8, 2021)

Model curriculum guides, professional development, and resources will be added as time allows.

Tech Directors: To access a machine readable version of the official Montana Content Standards for Social Studies, please visit the IMS Global CASE Network site.  Create a free login, select Montana Office of Public Instruction, and view or download the standards. The CASE version of the standards can be uploaded to student information systems, curriculum mapping programs, and a variety of other uses. Learn more about the CASE Network CASE Network FAQ

Of special interest to: Teachers interested in IEFA

Re: Short Films by Indigenous Filmmakers (with teaching guides)


The Big Sky Film Institute is once again partnering with the Montana Office of Public Instructions Indian Education Unit to share films made by and about Native people. According to their Facebook post in the Teaching Montana History Facebook group:

The 2023 season of the NFI Film Club [Native Filmmaker Initiative] presents "Celebrating Cultures & Honoring Traditional Practices," a triptych of films curated to engage Montana youth with unique and uplifting stories of Native and Indigenous individuals ... who are building strength through their communities and upholding traditional practices in the modern day. Our films are selected and ready for teacher registration, each one accompanied with an accompanied discussion guide, streaming link to view the film and an invitation to join our live filmmaker Q&A with film teams and OPI’s Indian Education Specialist, Mike Jetty.

Here's more from their website:

The Native Filmmaker Initiative Film Club is a virtual youth education outreach program that screens a curated selection of Indigenous-made documentary films in classrooms across Montana. Following the screenings, filmmakers visit classrooms virtually for a live Q&A and discussion activities rooted in Montana's Indian Education for All Essential Understandings. Film Club discussions are led by the Big Sky Film Institute in collaboration with Montana Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education Specialists as well as participating filmmakers to talk in-depth about the process of filmmaking....


Running October through December, each Film Club event will focus on diverse Indigenous subjects and topics. Consult the discussion guides to help adapt the Film Club activities into social studies, science, history or other areas of study. Films are available to view in advance of Film Club discussions and each classroom will receive access to discussion guides and instructions on how to join the live Q&A.



Visit the Native Filmmaker Initiative website to register your classroom to view one or more of this year's films. Registration includes a screening link to the film with details to join a live filmmaker Q&A and accompanied discussion guides. Email Director of Education, Julia Sherman, at for more information, or to be added to their Youth Programs email list.

Looking for Guidance?

Need advice on how to incorporate Montana History or IEFA into your classroom or how to meet the new social studies standards? The Montana Historical Society’s Teacher Leaders in Montana History are here to help. These Montana educators have a passion for history, collaboration, and education, and they are eager to help you find resources. Each teacher leader is ready to work with individual teachers, schools, and districts and are available to consult, mentor, and present at PIR days. Learn more. 

Critical Race Theory

Someone asked me recently if our new fourth-grade textbook teaches Critical Race Theory (CRT). The answer is no--none of MTHS or OPI's Indian Education lessons teach Critical Race Theory. Some of them do teach about the history of discrimination. Confused about what you can and cannot teach? Here's an FAQ sheet. 

Have you had parents ask if you are teaching CRT? Consider using the question as an opportunity to open a dialog. Since CRT means different things to different people, consider kindly saying, "explain to me what you are worried about, and I'll tell you if I teach it" and then address their specific concerns. (H/T to Teacher Leader in Montana History Dylan Huisken for this excellent advice.)

Teaching Montana History Is on Facebook!

If you spend time on Facebook, I hope you'll join--and actively participate--in our closed Teaching Montana History Facebook group. It's a great way to connect to other teachers.




Upcoming Opportunities for Educators:

  • Of special interest to: Elementary and middle school teachers

    Re: MTHS to begin subsidizing footlocker shipping costs

    Have you ever ordered on of our hands-on history footlockers? If you have, you know that there's nothing like material culture (objects) to make history come alive.

    We started our traveling footlocker program over twenty-five years ago, and now have twenty titles, each focused on a different topic or time period, and each filled with reproductions of clothing, tools, and everyday objects and maps, photographs, and documents. Every footlocker also includes a User Guide with historical narratives for educators and students, lesson plans (many of which do not require material from the footlockers), Amazing Montanan biographies, and information on standards alignment.

    The footlocker program is a great way to enrich your classroom, but it's gotten very expensive for schools. We have historically provided the footlockers free of charge, while requiring the school to pay for shipping on to the next venue. Shipping fees used to average $30-$50 dollars. These days, teachers are telling us it can cost up to $70 to ship a trunk!

    We don't want the program to become cost prohibitive, so we're changing our system. Instead of making the school responsible for shipping costs, schools will simply pay MTHS a flat $25 fee and MTHS will cover shipping.

    We hope this provides some predictability and restores affordability to the program. 

    Learn how to order a footlocker

    Explore the list of titles and their User Guides.  

    Questions? Contact Katie White at or 406-444-9553.

    P.S. Having a hard time choosing which footlocker to bring into your classroom? I'm quite partial to Through a Child's Eyes: The Stewart Family in Turbulent Times, 1913-1921, which investigates life and politics, 1913-1921, through the lives of Montana Governor Samuel Stewart's three daughters.

    P.P.S. The Montana Jewish Project is giving away book kits, just in time for the holidays. And unlike our footlockers, the Montana Jewish Project book kits are yours to keep. Here's more information on what's in it and how to order. 

  • The third GeoCivics Summer Academy has applications open. The application period closes on Dec. 5, 2023 - so please don't delay.

  • Humanities Montana , has started their new grant openings!  Check it out and see if you could combine standards to meet those goals!

  • Of special interest to: Folks interested in IEFA and who like to cook.

Re: Virtual Keynote and Cooking Class

If you are interested in food (and who isn't?), consider attending A Taste of Indigenous Foods with Mariah Gladstone, Virtual Keynote and Cooking Class, Monday, November 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

What are indigenous foods, where do we get them, and how do we prepare them? Many native North American foods, both cultivated and harvested, were removed from our diets through intentional colonial efforts. Mariah Gladstone is leading the way in a food movement that is revitalizing and incorporating these important foods into the contemporary diet. During her virtual lecture and cooking class, you can cook along with her as she prepares one of her original recipes and discusses the history of Indigenous foodways and the First Thanksgiving.

The week prior to the class, MTHS will send the ingredient list to all those who have registered so you can be ready to cook along with Mariah on the 20th. We will also send the link to the videoconference. OPI Renewal Unit are available to those who attend and email their reflections.

Registration is free.

Questions? Contact Laura Marsh,

  • November programming is bringing you our second Native Filmmaker Initiative (NFI) Film Club of the season with the film Shirampari: Legacies of the River. The film follows 11-year-old Ricky, a young Asheninka boy living in the Yurúa region of the Peruvian Amazon, as he embarks on a coming of age journey that involves catching a giant catfish. Registration for the Film Club includes a screener link to the film, accompanied discussion guide and access to our live filmmaker virtual Q&A tomorrow, Nov. 15th at 10:00am!  

We’d love to see classrooms tomorrow, but if you can’t make it and are curious about the film you can register through the end of the year to receive access to the film and all accompanied resources. 

Curious about the Film Club? View our full line-up on our website here: []

Want to register for Shirampari: Legacies of the River? Register here: []

  • Greetings from Tempe, Arizona! We are seeking applicants for our grant-funded, place-based teacher summer academy! We sincerely hope you can send the following out to your teacher listserv as soon as possible :)


  • Applications accepted until Dec. 5, 2023

GeoCivics Summer Academy - June 13-22, 2024|Washington, DC
​ALL EXPENSES PAID + $2,500 stipend + PD Hours!

During the summer of 2024 we will be hosting an exciting place-based educational experience in Washington, DC to learn how to include diverse perspectives in the education space through civic engagement and advocacy in your American history, geography, civics, and government instruction. During the Academy, we will celebrate Juneteenth in our Capital, and meet with educators, historians, experts, and advocacy groups. We will also visit historic locations such as the White House, Capital, and museums to deepen content knowledge of civic engagement and advocacy and strengthen pedagogical knowledge and skills. []


Indian Education and Computing for All | 1 evening per month Sept 2023 - May 2024 | Zoom

  • A curriculum and professional development project designed to bring together social studies, IEFA, and computing content standards for middle school students.

  • 18 hours of online PD | $1000 stipend | Earn up to 40 PD Units

  • MT PBS: Streaming now for a limited time, "The U.S. and the Holocaust," A Film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein
  • Humanities Montana:

Winter in Montana is challenging for travel. During these months, Humanities Montana speakers can still visit your community — virtually — to present their humanities programs! Whether you are booking programs for the classroom, at a museum, or with a community center, speakers are available for virtual and in-person visits to provide free public humanities programming.

You can learn more about Montana Conversations or book Speakers in the Schools presenter on our website, you can learn about grant opportunities.

Subscribe to Humanities Montana.


Check the OPI Professional Learning Opportunities Portal for courses and workshops.

Social Studies Resources

All K-12 Grade Levels:

3-12 Grade Levels:

  • National Archives Educator Resources Lower elementary through high school

  • History Labs  (“History Labs are research and investigative learning experiences that provide teachers with the necessary information, resources, and procedures to teach a full range of historical thinking skills by taking students through a process that is methodologically similar to that employed by historians.” The site includes a template for creating your own and History Labs made by other teachers--upper elementary through high school).


Middle School

Jr. High - High School

  • For High School, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) offers free, innovative classroom products. These online learning resources form the foundation of a global civics curriculum, empowering young people with the essential knowledge, skills, and perspective to be responsible citizens, take on the challenges of global competition, and steer through partisan rhetoric and disinformation.  Review their resources that could be used in a science classroom.  For more information contact Lori Matza,

    • World101An award-winning collection of multimedia explainers for students with little or no background knowledge of international relations and foreign policy. With accessible, jargon-free language and instructor-designed teaching resources, lessons on the World101 platform are non-partisan and developed in partnership with CFR experts.
      • *We are soliciting applications for our CFR Education Ambassador 2022-2023 program. A great opportunity for middle school and high school social studies teachers.  
    • Model Diplomacy: The Model Diplomacy simulation program invites high-school students to step into the shoes of decision-makers on the National Security Council or United Nations Security Council to debate the world’s most pressing issues with dozens of full-length case studies, an expanding library of short-form scenarios covering current and historical events, and exclusive video content featuring commentary from foreign policy experts.
    • Convene the CouncilDeveloped in partnership with iCivics, one of the nation’s leading providers of educational games, Convene the Council empowers students to understand the basics of how U.S. foreign policy gets made and the ways in which countries and international organizations can influence foreign policy priorities. Twenty gameplay scenarios reveal how foreign and domestic policy are intertwined, and how decisions made in one corner of the world can affect us all. Spanish version available. 


High School

















Standards Revision Information

New standards were adopted on November 5, 2020.  Effective date is July 1, 2021.


Adoption Timeline and Meetings

The Board of Public Education (BPE) approved the Social Studies at their November 5, 2020 meeting. Please check the BPE website for further details.  The implementation date for the new standards is July 1, 2021.



(Board of Public Education) Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Adoption, Amendment, and Repeal - K-12 Social Studies Content Standards.


Standards Revision

Revision Information

2017 - 2027 COMPLETE REVISION SCHEDULE - This schedule may change based on resource availability or other factors.

  • To learn about the process and how to get involved, take the Montana Content Standards 101 course on the Teacher Learning Hub (1 renewal unit)

Standards Drafts

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Meetings

Economic Impact Surveys