Bicentennial Education Initiative - Maine Memory Network

Bicentennial Lesson Plans Bicentennial Lesson Plans

Bringing the Bicentennial to Life in Your Classroom

New lesson plans and resources will continue to be added to this page on a regular basis. Check back for more lesson plans throughout 2020!

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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Bicentennial Themed Lesson Plans


Maine in the News: World War I Newspaper Project

9-12

  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Maine Leads
  • Students will analyze primary source documents to learn more about World War I and Maine.
  • Students will work collaboratively to create an authentic looking newspaper.
  • Students will gain a deeper sense of the preparation for war and the war's efforts.
  • Students will explore the challenges that Maine and the United States faced as they entered into the war.
  • Students will work through a project-based inquiry to complete the assignment.

Building Community/Community Buildings

6-8

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will use critical thinking to articulate similarities and differences between community spaces today and in past decades and centuries.
  • Students will be able to discuss the difference between positive and negative exclusivity in community spaces/gatherings.
  • Students will use close looking and critical thinking to analyze primary sources including photographs, objects, and written documents to construct an historic narrative.

What Remains: Learning about Maine Populations through Burial Customs

6-8

  • English Language Arts -- Speaking & Listening
  • English Language Arts -- Reading
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Disciplinary Literacy
  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Creation, Performance, and Expression
  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Aesthetics and Criticism
  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Visual & Performing Arts Connections
  • Living in Maine
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will identify headstone iconography relative to culture and time period by examining multiple sources.
  • Students will be able to discuss the importance of memorials to diverse communities.
  • Students will read two poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and use the subject matter to contextualize communal funerary practices over time and the perception thereof to a 19th century American audience.
  • Students will identify objects of material culture by their significance to Maine’s peoples and economy.
  • Students will examine primary and secondary sources while discerning respectful or incorrect scholarship by archaeologists, ethnologists, and historians over time.

Sporting Maine

3-5

  • Health Education & Physical Education -- Personal and Social Skills and Knowledge
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will be able to identify and discuss how team activities are developed over time by articulating the origins and history of common recreational activities and team sports in Maine.
  • Students will be able to discuss Franco-American and Scandinavian-American influence on winter sports in Maine.
  • Students will create a classroom community activity that can be taught to anyone.
  • Students will be able to discuss how group activities can bring communities together.

Maine's Acadian Community: "Evangeline," Le Grand Dérangement, and Cultural Survival

9-12

  • English Language Arts -- Speaking & Listening
  • English Language Arts -- Reading
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will be able to identify the cultural, religious, and political landscape of the colonial Acadian region leading up to the expulsion in 1755.
  • Students will analyze passages from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline as both an artifact of American mythopoetic literature and as an artifact of Acadian culture.
  • Students will be able to distinguish fact and myth in the Acadian narrative in Evangeline and the works that followed it.
  • Students will be able to identify the significance of language, religion, and symbols in contemporary Acadian culture.

An Exploration into Maine's History

3-5

  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Students will be able to use primary and secondary sources to research and describe the history of their hometown, the state of Maine, and the United States.
  • Students will practice the skills involved in analyzing primary sources.

Maine Statehood and the Missouri Compromise

9-12

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Maine Leads
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will be able to use primary sources to describe the implications Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise had for the United States.
  • Students will practice the skills involved in analyzing primary sources.
  • Students will learn how to and practice using evidence from primary sources to support a point view.

Maine Statehood

9-12

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Maine Leads
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will be able to use primary sources to describe the different arguments for and against Maine statehood.
  • Students will practice the skills involved in analyzing primary sources.
  • Students will learn how to and practice using evidence from primary sources to support a point view.

How Do Communities Represent Themselves

K-2

  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Students will be able to identify the historical and current flags of Maine, and understand the concept of "community" representation through the symbols on the flags.

Becoming Maine: The District of Maine's Coastal Economy

3-5

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- Personal Finance & Economics
  • Social Studies -- History
  • The Business of Maine
  • Maine Leads
  • Students will be able to identify what the Coasting Law was and the years during which it impacted the District of Maine.
  • Students will be able to draw comparisons between local Maine issues and national laws through an historical lens.
  • Students will become familiar with looking at and analyzing primary source documents as historic evidence.
  • Students will use critical thinking to take part in conversations about statehood that require informed opinion, including the positive and negative effects of the 1820 vote for statehood.

Why is Maine the Pine Tree State?

K-2

  • Social Studies -- Geography
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Students will be able to identify iconic Maine animals and plants.
  • Students will be able to put Maine “state” animals and plants in the contexts of their own environments and in the ecosystem nearest the student’s school/community.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of their community environment by naming local plant and animal life.

Becoming Maine: The Votes for Statehood

3-5

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History
  • Living in Maine
  • Maine Leads
  • Students will become familiar with looking at and drawing information from primary source documents as historic evidence.
  • Students will make connections between Maine statehood, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.
  • Students will use critical thinking to respond to questions about statehood that require informed opinion, including the positive and negative effects of the 1820 vote for statehood.

Primary Sources: Maine Women's Causes and Influence before 1920

6-8

  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History
  • The Maine Character
  • Students will analyze and draw conclusions from primary source documents.
  • Students will look at the efforts of Maine women compared to those on a national level.
  • Students will be able to articulate the importance of causes like abolition and temperance in Maine history, with relation to how women became politically active in support of such causes prior to having the ability to vote.
  • Students will compare arguments between pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage groups in Maine and the tactics used to spread each message.
  • Students will look at the history of Maine women’s contributions to health care at a state, national, and international level between 1783-1920.
  • Students will be able to understand that these movements and strides, however revolutionary, were also limited – mostly to white women.

Maine Monochromatic Oceanscape

6-8

  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Visual Arts
  • Living in Maine
  • Students will create depth using monochromatic color.
  • Students will create creatures using positive space.
  • Students will create depth by using layers.

Please continue to check this page as more lesson plans are added during our commemoration of the bicentennial. For more information, if you have questions or comments, or if you would like to have one of these lesson plans piloted in your classroom by an MHS educator, please contact MHS Bicentennial Education Fellow Brittany Cook.

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