Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Building Community/Community Buildings

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History

1-3 days

  • 1500-1774
  • 1775-1850
  • 1851-1920
  • 1921-today
  • Community

Where do people gather? What defines a community? What buildings allow people to congregate to celebrate, learn, debate, vote, and take part in all manner of community activities? Students will evaluate images and primary documents from throughout Maine’s history, and look at some of Maine’s earliest gathering spaces and organizations, and how many communities established themselves around certain types of buildings. Students will make connections between the community buildings of the past and the ways we express identity and create communities today.

  • 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.

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A resource developed by Maine Historical Society with support from Jane's Trust