Maine @ 200: Bicentennial Education

Bicentennial Education Bicentennial Education

Bicentennial Education

New lesson plans and resources will continue to be added to this page on a regular basis. Check back for more and to learn how teachers can contribute soon!

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Welcome to Maine Historical Society's Bicentennial Education resources! In 2020, we commemorate the 200th year of Maine statehood, following the district's separation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Maine Historical Society was founded in 1822, only two years after the district of Maine was admitted as the 23rd state under the Missouri Compromise, and is dedicated to telling Maine stories and preserving Maine history. This website will support Maine's PK-adult educators in sharing ideas and best practices for creating engaging and effective lessons to commemorate Maine's Bicentennial.

Why Bicentennial Education

The bicentennial of Maine statehood offers us an opportunity to reflect, commemorate, learn, and ponder. While the bicentennial serves as an important bookmark in state history, it is not a celebration for all. The region of the continent that includes Maine and the Canadian Maritimes has been home to the Wabanaki peoples for thousands of years, and today we learn from and honor the heritage, resilience, and contributions of the members of the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and at Motahkokmikuk, the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. Looking back at the past 200 years of statehood and more than 12,000 years of human livelihood in what we now know as Maine can give us a unique perspective on Maine's environment and economy, politics and notable figures from Maine's many communities.

Maine history doesn't just reflect Maine's past. It helps us better understand Maine today, and illustrates how the state's diverse people and communities contribute to Maine's identity, well-being, and vitality.

For Classroom Teachers

Lesson Plans

These lesson plans provide teachers and students with diverse subject matters for each Social Studies strand, and promote critical thinking as students interact with primary documents, oral histories, and the treaties, choices, industries, and influential people who populate Maine's storied past.

Maine Historical Society's lesson plans are designed for K-12 classroom teachers and include curated online image slideshows from the collections within Maine Memory Network to facilitate teaching and learning.

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If you are a teacher who would like to submit a lesson plan relating to the bicentennial, watch this space! We will be implementing a submission form for teachers soon. Public or private school educators for grades Pre-K to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post Secondary Instructors in Maine are encouraged to participate.

We would love your feedback on our Bicentennial Lesson Plans, and suggestions for additional lessons plans and resources. To send comment or for more information on teaching the Maine Bicentennial in your classroom, please contact the MHS Bicentennial Fellow Brittany Cook at bcook@mainehistory.org.

Classroom Visits

If you are interested in having a Maine Historical Society educator visit your classroom to present one of the MHS lessons, or if you are interested in bringing your students to MHS for a tour of our exhibit(s) or/and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, please contact the Manager of Education and Public Programs at kneumann@mainehistory.org.