Longfellow Studies: "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie"--Selected Lines and Illustrations

Martha E. Keezer, Madawaska Middle High School, Aroostook County

2005

6-8, 9-12

  • Social Studies -- History
  • Visual & Performing Arts -- Visual Arts

1-2 days

  • 1775-1850

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Maine's native son, is the epitome of Victorian Romanticism. Aroostook County is well acquainted with Longfellow's epic poem, Evangeline, because it is the story of the plight of the Acadians, who were deported from Acadie between 1755 and 1760. The descendants of these hard-working people inhabit much of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

The students enjoy hearing the story and seeing the ink drawings. The illustrations are my interpretations. The collection took approximately two months to complete. The illustrations are presented in a Victorian-style folio, reminiscent of the family gathered in the parlor for a Sunday afternoon reading of Evangeline, which was published in 1847.

Preparation Required/Preliminary Discussion:
Have students read "Evangeline A Tale of Acadie". Give a background of the Acadia Diaspora.

Suggested Follow-up Activities:
Students could illustrate their own poems, as well as other Longfellow poems, such as: "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Village Blacksmith," or "The Children's Hour."

"Tales of the Wayside Inn" is a colonial Canterbury Tales. The guest of the inn each tell stories. Student could write or illustrate their own characters or stories.

Appropriate calligraphy assignments could include short poems and captions for their illustrations. Inks, pastels, watercolors, and colored pencils would be other appropriate illustrative media that could be applicable to other illustrated poems and stories. Each illustration in this exhibit was made in India ink on file folder paper. The dimensions, including the burgundy-colors mat, are 9" x 12". A friend made the calligraphy.

  • Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between art and literature.
  • This exhibit will demonstrate to students how visual art (in this case, ink drawings) can enhance their comprehension of a literary work. They will also have the opportunity to create their own illustrations of other Longfellow poems.

Associated slideshow