Summer Institute

2005 Montana Heritage Project Summer Institute Schedule

Lessons From Yellowstone: What Stories Can My Community Learn From Yellowstone?

June 19-25, 2005
Location: West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park


Sunday night 7:00 to 9:00 - Union Pacific Dining Hall Firehole Room Affiliates and Demonstration Sites

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.  Institute Introduction - Michael Umphrey and Marcella Sherfy

1. Group introductions.

2. Outline of the week.

3. Introduction to the week’s oganizing question: What Stories Can My Community Learn from Yellowstone

4.  Introduction to the storyline and radio documentary format for the week’s work.

8:30 - 9:00 p.m Schools check in all materials from 2004-2005 School year including portfolios, tapes, transcripts, permissions, in other word, materials to be archived at the Montana Historical Society.

(Affiliates and Demonstration Site teachers together)

Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:15 - Motel Continental Breakfast

Monday morning - Union Pacific Dining Hall Firehole Room

8:30 - 10:30 “What Makes a Documentary Story Work? Creating Powerful Storylines for Documentary Presentations” - Peter Rosten

For 30 years, Peter produced feature and educational films, television series, and documentaries and was based in Hollywood. Now working from his home with Bitterroot Valley with schools and the “Media Arts in the Public Schools” project, Peter is helping students develop and apply their creative skills to the medium of film production. For us, Peter will take our vague understandings of “story” and give them concrete shape by explaining the “formula” that he finds most effective in building storylines for documentaries--a formula that helps to organize and choose information while capturing audience attention.


11:00 - 12:00 “How the Project Works: An Introduction to Project Protocols for Affiliates and a Refresher for Demonstration Sites"- Katherine Mitchell.  We’ll address topics ranging from next year’s calendar, Montana Heritage Coollist,, billing, library grants, final products, Winter Summit, our involvement at the MEA meeting, to the Youth Heritage Festival.)

Lunch on your own.

Monday afternoon - 1:30 - 5:00 - Union Pacific Dining Hall

Best Practices for Project Work - Demonstration Site Mentors Teach Affiliates

1:30 - 2:30 “Introducing Oral History in Your Classroom” Dorothea Susag.
Dottie headed the Simms Heritage Project for seven years and now serves as a consultant to the Project. In particular, Dottie is available to provide workshops to new teachers. In this session, she will provide a short workshop emphasizing the basics of oral history: purpose, etiquette, and getting students started.

2:30 - 3:15 “Inviting Students into the Craft of Narrative Writing” Darlene Beck.
Darlene has served as Broadwater High School’s lead Project teacher for a number of years—always successfully inviting English students into the process. Given the emphasis that the Foundation places on excellent student writing, we’ll revisit this topic often.  We’ve asked Darlene, one of our most skilled English teachers, to summarize the primary goals she has in teaching students to write narrative well (technically and compellingly) and to describe her strategies for moving students to improve their writing. 


3:45-4:30 “Five Minute Best Ideas” Current Demonstration Site teachers will each identify a single concrete teaching practice that has proven critical to their success in heritage teaching. In 5 minute summaries, each mentor teacher will describe the practice and explain why it works.

4:30 - 5:00 “Giving Gifts of Scholarhips through Heritage Events” Jeff Gruber
Jeff Gruber has been a Heritage Project teacher since the Project becgan in 1995. He has tried his hand at integrating the Project into a variety of classes and into the community in a variety of ways. Although heritage fairs or programs aren’t required, they extend the benefits of the Project many times over in our communities. We’ve asked Jeff to explain why he finds doing events difficult but important and how he has worked with students to host public events in Libby.

6:00 Catered Picnic in City Park - Opportunity for Affiliates and Demonstration Site folks to know each other better

Monday Evening

8:30 Motel Gathering Room - Roundtable Discussion on Searching for Yellowstone. Katherine Mitchell.
We’re using Paul Schullery’s book as our “text” for the week. We’ll be hearing from him on Tuesday morning. This discussion, that draws most from the Introduction, Chapter 13, and the Epilogue will give us the chance to drop into the heart of our week’s question: what stories can my community learn from Yellowstone.

(Demonstration and Affiliates teachers together)

Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:30 - Motel Continental Breakfast

Tuesday morning - 9:00 to 12:00 - Union Pacific Dining Hall

Conversations with Paul Schullery
Over the span of 25 years, Paul has written as many books--centered on small and large aspects of Yellowstone National Park.  He has served as a ranger-naturalist, historian, and researcher for the Park. He also teaches at Montana State University. The hallmark of Paul’s writing and thinking is his ability to see Yellowstone with both an intellectual zoom lens and a wide angle one--extracting meaning and understanding from his observations that are relevant to how we care for Yellowstone and our world. Out of dozens of Yellowstone experts, Paul can offer us what may be broadest and most tempered ideas in one morning.

9:00 - 9:45 “Defining Yellowstone in Lines: Edges, Boundaries, Migration routes, Roads, Maps”
Of course, Yellowstone functions as a whole--a whole park, a whole ecosystem. But humans tend to see and manage it within lines. Paul will talk with us about how many different lines have been used to define and understand this area--and what that has meant for its resources.

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Paul

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion


10:45 - 11:30 “Yellowstone and the Two Cultures: Can Science and the Humanities Share a National Park”
In this second session, Paul will explore the amazing spectrum of emotional and intellectural resources we apply to our appreciation and use of Yellowstone. Yellowstone has always been both a fantasy landscape and a scientific treasures. Can that remain true?

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Paul

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion

Lunch on Your Own

Tuesday afternoon - 1:30 to 3:30
Concurrent Sessions: one for affiliates and one for demonstration site teachers. Both in different sections of the Union Pacific Dining Hall.

Affiliate teachers: “The Nuts and Bolts of Oral History” Michael Umphrey
Mike will extend the introduction that Dottie provided on Monday to the details and protocols of good oral interviewing.

Demonstration Site teachers: “Plumbing our Portfolios for Great Ideas” Marcella Sherfy
With a greater emphasis on student writing submitted electronically, with our new EE website and the ability to turn in final reports in that format, portfolios have taken on a somewhat different role in Project work. They remain important gifts to the community and to the state archives--documenting what all happened through the year. We’ll review these in a spirit of seeing what we can learn from each other and how, if at all, we want to rethink the content and use of portfolios.

Working in small groups, teachers will review binders from all the schools (the ones turned in on Sunday evening). We will work in eleven groups--one group for each binder. Each group will have 6 minutes per binder to review with these questions in mind: Is everything here? Is each component sufficient? What is strikingly good?
After half the binders are done (about 40 minutes) have each group report for a couple minutes on whatever they feel is noteworthy.


Repeat above steps again to complete all the binders.
Summarize what we have learned. Let each teacher propose candidates for our “Keeper of the Record” recognition.

Conclusion of Affiliates Sessions.

4:00 – Time on your own to go to the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum or the Wolf and Grizzly Discovery Center.

Dinner on your own

Tuesday evening

7:00 IMAX “Yellowstone” (Have group tickets for all of us.)

8:30 Our motel meeting room. Roundtable discussion.  Katherine MItchell. Wednesday’s presenters will draw from Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities (readings provided in binder) and Letters from Yellowstone (first 57 pages, book provided) in their respective presentations. In this evening’s discussion, we’ll talk through any lessons we might already have drawn from Balancing Nature and then consider how a book like Diane’s might be used with high school students or in a letters project. (Note that in the Appendices we’ve also included readings from our Wednesday evening presenter, Jim Robbins, but likely won’t have time to discuss those this evening.)


Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:15 - Motel Continental Breakfast

Wednesday morning 9:00 - 12:00 Union Pacific Dining Hall

Conversations with Paul Shea
Paul Shea is the founder and has served as director of two affiliated organizations: the Yellowstone Historic Center and the West Yellowstone Historical Society. He was among the first residents to beginning talking about the fact that, as a community, West Yellowstone has its own distinctive history and character. He’s spearheaded community efforts to preserve historic buildings and archival records--and to make sure that visitors understand that the town is its own interesting destination.

9:00 - 9:45 “Do We Find Community in Montana’s First Tourist Town?” Paul Shea
In this first session, Paul will talk us through West Yellowstone’s history and whether or how it is a “community"--not just a batch of motels, gift stores, filling stations, restaurants, and “attractions.”

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Paul

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion


10:45 - 11:30 “What is Really Keeping West Yellowstone Alive?” Paul Shea

For this session, Paul will talk with us about how the community has grown economically and about the economic controversies that surround its relationship to “the company"--the National Park Service.

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Paul

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion

Lunch on your own

Wednesday afternoon - Union Pacific Dining Hall

Conversations with Diane Smith
A Livingston, Montana, resident, Diane Smith is a science writer, specializing in public understanding of science. She studied western and environmental history at the University of Montana and is now pursuing her doctorate at Montana State University, writing a dissertation on the history of public interpretation and education in Yellowstone National Park.

1:30 - 2:15 - “One Park, Many Stories: What Has NPS Wanted Visitors to Learn” Diane Smith
This first session draws on Diane’s current examination of the changing interpretive “messages” that the National Park Service has presented at Yellowstone and her understanding of why that evolution in “message” has occurred.

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Paul

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion


2:45 - 3:15 - “Learning How Literature Reflects and Shapes our Understanding of a Place” - Diane Smith
Diane is best known as the author of a novel, written as a body of letters about a 1898 botanical expedition in Yellowstone, titled Letters from YellowstoneLetters from Yellowstone has just been selected by the Montana Committee for the Humanities as this next year’s “One Book Montana” selection.  We’ve asked Diane to talk about the decisions that she made in crafting this novel: why Yellowstone, why 1900 as time period, what messages she wanted the book to communicate.

10 minutes - Small groups generate questions for Diane.

20 minutes - Radio documentary questions and answers and discussion.

Time on your own

5:15 Preparation for evening in Yellowstone with Jim Robbins. Motel meeting room. Jim is a Helena-based author, best known for The Last Refuge, a book that addresses how and whether we can preserve Yellowstone National Park, a small part of a much larger regional ecosytem—as a question that haunts the whole West. Jim continues to write about the Yellowstone region for audiences ranging from New York Times’ readers and to children.

5:30-6:00 (when bus arrives back at motel):  Board bus for evening with Jim Robbins in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone.  This evening’s trip into the park will introduce us some of the best known, iconographic features of Yellowstone.

7:00 approximately: Group tickets for dinner in the Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria

Time on your own in the Old Faithful area

9:00 - Expedition Discussion:  Regather before boarding the bus to talk through what we’ve learned.

9:15 - Start back to West Yellowstone - may be able to walk Fountain Paint Pots Trail


Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:15 - Motel Continental Breakfast

A Day in Yellowstone

As we travel: Yellowstone for Real - Examining its Resources and its Visitors for Ourselves
As we visit with National Park Service employees - Yellowstone as Seen by the Staff

8:30 Motel parking lot: Board bus for Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner

Travel to Madison, Norris, and Mammoth Hot Springs. We may be abel to stop at Obsidian Cliff on this leg of the trip or on our return.
Use of some of bus time to craft radio documentary questions for the NPS employees that we’ll be hearing from.

11:00 - Deputy Superintendent Frank Walker, Conference Room, Basement, Albright Visitor Center (One question to consider: Yellowstone is the first, biggest, most unusual, wildest, and among the most intensely visited of all national parks. What is like to manage a resource under the brightest lights that public scrutiny/love can turn on? Does that heap of public attention help oro hurt?

Eat our boxes lunches wherever we would like in the Mammoth area

12:30 Board bus to Gardiner, Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center

1:00 - Park Historian, Lee Whittlesley (Possible questions to consider: How important is it for Yellowstone National Park to have its own archivist; its own historian? How are park records used and by whom and for what purpose? Does the historical record help address current issues?)

2:00 - Board bus back to Mammoth area

2:30 - Formal Education Program Manager Janet Ambrose, Conference Room, basement, Albright Visitor Center, Mammoth (Possible question to consider: What message does THE PARK want folks to take home with them--and why? Is that working?)

3:15 - Time to explore the Mammoth area more

5:00 - Group Dinner at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room (prime rib or chicken linguine)

6:30 - Expeditionary discussion as a group before we board our bus: what will stick with us from today. Organize into our final groups for Friday’s work and presentations.

7:00 Board bus to head back to West Yellowstone.


Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:15 - Motel Continental Breakfast

Friday morning - Union Pacific Dining Hall

9:00 - 10:30 Project Discussion time:  YHF evaluation processes: writing, presentations, and displays; selecting distinguished librarians and educators; MEA colloquium ideas. Michael Umphrey

Time to prepare Radio Documentary storyline presentation

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 4:00 - Group Presentations - What Does My Community Have to Learn from Yellowstone? - Union Pacific Dining Hall

Five teams of five people team will give a 20-minute report in the form of a script treatment or summary: What is the story we want to tell? Why have we chosen the outline and format that we have? What’s at stake? What is the conflict? Who is the main character? In order, here are the five moments from the week that we will present to our communities. Using the format that we have used throughout the week, the rest of the group will have 10 minutes to ask questions of each presenting team.

Friday evening

6:00 Winding Down:  Informal group dinner - Bar B Q Picnic close to the UP Dining Hall (Paul Shea may have arranged tours for us in the historic Yellowstone touring car.)

Breakfast - 6:30 - 8:15 - Motel Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 12:00 - Union Pacific Dining Hall - Inspiration and Conclusion

9:00 Review of logistics and assignments for the year and following the Institute.

Short Break

10:30 Conversational review of the week and “Keeper of the Record” presentations

Noon - Adjourn

Posted by Marcella Sherfy on 06/01 at 03:15 PM
(0) CommentsPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
©2005 Montana Heritage Project

What criteria will be used to assess binders?

Contents of Portfolio/History Binders

The binders will be assessed twice. A simpler review will be conducted by students at the Youth Heritage Festival. A more in-depth review of completed binders will be conducted by teachers at the Summer Institute.

Youth Heritage Festival: One binder containing all of the below should be brought to the Youth Heritage Festival. This will be placed on the student display table. After the YHF, you can take this binder home with you.

This is the criteria that will be used to assess binders at the Youth Heritage Festival:

Portfolio extends display panel message. Answers questions that a reader may have from panel info. Portfolio is well organized—with table of contents or section heads. Portfolio has ample student work, photography, publicity information. Portfolio graphics match panel. They appear to serve as package.

Summer Institute: You should bring a completed version of your binder to the summer institute, where as a group we will review them. These completed binders will be archived at the Montana Historical Society.

We will need also need digital copies of all materials in the binder. You can submit these on a cd, or you may post them using our online form. (Photographs and appendices materials should not be placed online, however. They should be submitted on cd.)

If you submit your binder materials on cd, the folders on the cd should use the same names as the sections below:

These are the criteria that you will apply to the binders at the Summer Institute:

1. Executive summary

a. Title: A History of the Montana Heritage Project in [your community].

b. Data: Name(s) of Classes Involved, Name(s) of teachers involved, Total number and names of students involved broken down class by class.

c. Team Members: Names (and titles of all community adults who helped)

d. Interviewees: Names, arranged alphabetically, of all individuals for whom an interview tape was made. Key this list to any other numbering system that you are using.

e. A list of products created, including but not limited to interviews with tapes, transcripts and/or tape logs; exhibits, essays, research papers (and the names of students who created them) during the Project for donation to the Montana Historical Society. This list serves as an index for future researchers, so they know what documents were created.

2. Interview transcripts, tape logs, indexes, and release forms

Complete documentation is needed for all tapes that will be achieved at the Montana Historical Society. The actual tapes should be delivered during the Summer Institute.

3. Teacher narrative with teacher and student evaluations

A description of what happened (including major activities, trips, events, speakers). The following items should be addressed in this narrative:

Ask: The questions posed by students

Listen: A description of the ways in which the historical record was explored

Explore: A description of what students added to the historical record

Reflect: Description of strategies used to engage students in reflection

Teach: A description of gifts of scholarship that resulted, including any public presentations or celebrations that were held

A personal evaluation of the Project by the teacher

Student evaluations: What did students say about the Project? Include a description of how students were asked to evaluate their project work and when that occurred during the year.

4. Photographs

Photographs that document activities with complete caption information or other documentation of the Project. Whenever possibile, photos should be at least 1200 pixels on the long dimension. Captions should identify all recognizable people, as well as date, location, and event.

5. Student writing

At least three samples of student writing need to be posted online before the Youth Heritage Festival. It will be evaluated separately from the binders. However, the binder should also include samples of nonfiction writing. Student work, in addition to being well-written and interesting, should demonstrate significant research into the community’s history and thoughtful conclusions about the meaning that history has for the student.

6. Appendices (optional materials)

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 02/01 at 12:16 PM
(0) CommentsPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
©2005 Montana Heritage Project

How will writing, binders, displays, and presentations be assessed for Washington DC trip?


1. Emphasize writing and thinking, but recognize good presentations, both live and on display panels. That balance should ensure the selected team will represent the project well in Washington.
2. Allow all students a chance (not punish those from schools that have gone in past three years)
3. Assure that attention is paid to portfolios, which are full of good ideas, represent tremendous work, include the material that is archived, and often form the basis for gifts of scholarship to the community.
4. Involve all teachers and students in this process as a way to increase their awareness of work done by other students, teachers, and schools.
5. Make the selection process for LOC ambassadors as clear and transparent as possible.
6. This system requires focused and purposeful work by teachers and students during the YHF.
7. This system assumes a small number of official student representatives at the YHF.
8. This system lets us announce ambassadors during the YHF.

Weighting: Writing - 50 points; Presentations - 30 points; Displays - 20 points

1. Reviewing student writing:
Have each school digitally submit three essays based on Project work two weeks in advance of the Youth Heritage Festival. (March 17).

Staff will read and screen these against the writing checklist, and collectively select the top essays to be sent to an outside judge. We’ll do that within a week.

Our outside judge will use the same checklist to select a “distinguished” student writer from among the essays provided.

Using the ratings of staff and the outside judge, three student essays will be selected to be read during the Youth Heritage Festival.

The school which sends three essays that together best meet the highest standards on the rubric will receive 50 points; the runner-up school will receive 40, the next highest 30.

Student writing may be in the form of historical research essays, essays of place, or feature articles. They must be based on project work done during the current school year.

2. Reviewing student presentations:

As a group, teachers from each site will score each of the Monday afternoon presentations against a presentation checklist.

Each site’s group of teachers will turn in a single scoring sheet. Sites with multiple teachers will need to collaborate. Teachers will not judge their own students. Judging will not be anonymous.

Staff will add the points awarded on the scoring sheets provided. The school that scores the highest according to the checklist (based on total numerical score on scoring sheets) will receive 30 points, the next 20, and the third 10.

3. Reviewing displays and binders:

As a team, students from each school will complete a rating sheet for all the all the displays using a display and portfolio checklist provided for this. They will have time specifically to complete this task. Students will not judge their own work. Judging will not be anonymous. Each team of students (one team per school) will collaborate to turn in a single scoring sheet for each other school.

Staff will total the scores on the scoring sheets. The school that best meets the rubric (based on total numerical score from all scoring sheets) will receive 20 points and the next 10.

The school with the highest number of points will be this year’s “Ambassadors to the Library of Congress.” In the event of a tie, the school with the highest score in submitted essays will be selected.

Distinguished Student Writer

The writer of the essay that is scored highest by the outside judge will receive scholarship funds from the fund that Renee has started. This distinguished writer may or may not be a member of the ambassador team.


The binder will be reviewed twice--once by students at the Youth Heritage Festival then again by teachers at the Summer Institute.

Schools will be asked to bring portfolios with them to the YHF and place them with their displays as completed as they are to that point.

All teachers will participate in a full review of completed portfolios at the Summer Institute. Teachers who do not bring portfolios will not receive their Institute stipend until the material has been submitted. Teachers will also be asked to bring tapes, interviewee permissions, as well as any transcripts or indexes that were created. Teachers will be asked to rate the binders that they like best, using whatever criteria they feel is important, and the two highest rated binders will receive gift certificates at a bookstore. Since there are no published criteria, teachers are invited to express excellence in whatever way they feel matters. 

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 02/01 at 12:05 PM
(0) CommentsPermalinkPrinter-FriendlyE-mail this page
©2005 Montana Heritage Project
 <  1 2