Maine 200: Bicentennial Education

Bicentennial Education Initiative Bicentennial Education Initiative

In 2020, we commemorate the 200th year of Maine statehood. Maine Historical Society was founded just two years after Maine was admitted to the Union as the 23rd State, and is dedicated to telling Maine stories, preserving Maine history, and connecting Mainers to the story of this state as we look toward the future. We are excited to partner with Maine200.org, the Maine Department of Education, and Jane's Trust in developing and sharing bicentennial-related lesson plans, and we invite you to share your own! This website supports Maine educators of all grade levels in sharing ideas and best practices for creating engaging and effective lessons to commemorate Maine's Bicentennial.

Commemorating Statehood: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

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 Motahkomikuk, 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.

Maine history is all around us—it's happening right now! We want to feature your bicentennial lesson plans and activities here on Maine Memory Network, and support a statewide community of educators by providing a hub for lesson plans of all grade levels. When you submit a lesson plan, you will also be entered into a monthly raffle (through December 2020) to win $400 for your classroom! Public and private school educators for grades Pre-K through 12, and all postsecondary and adult learning educators are invited and encouraged to participate.

As soon as your lesson plan has been reviewed and approved by our Education staff, we will let you know when it goes live online! All lesson plans will be accessible from our Bicentennial Education page, and will be searchable here on Maine Memory Network. We will be accepting Bicentennial-themed lesson plans throughout 2020. If you have another Maine history lesson plan you would like to share, please contact us.

We would love your feedback on our Bicentennial Lesson Plans, and suggestions for additional topics and resources.

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) and/or the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, please visit our page about student programs or contact us as the number below.

Question? Comments?

If you have any questions, comments, or need more information about any of these programs, please contact our education department at education@mainehistory.org or call (207) 774-1822 x214.