Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Longfellow Studies: The Exile of the People of Longfellow's "Evangeline"

Stephen Dexter, Leonard Middle School, Penobscot County



  • Social Studies -- History

10 days

  • 1775-1850
  • The People/Peopling of Maine

Other materials needed:
- Copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Evangeline"
- Print media and Internet access for research
- Deportation Orders (may use primary document with a secondary source interpretation)

Throughout the course of history there have been many events in which great suffering was inflicted upon innocent people. The story of the Acadian expulsion is one such event. Britain and France, the two most powerful nations of Europe, were at war off and on throughout the 18th century. North America became a coveted prize for both warring nations. The French Acadians of present day Nova Scotia fell victim to great suffering. Even under an oath of allegiance to England, the Acadians were advised that their families were to be deported and their lands confiscated by the English. This event was immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline", which was published in 1847.

  • Students research using a variety of primary and secondary sources and write an editorial. The editorial will first explain the main points of Lt. Gov. Lawrence's Deportation Orders. Second, the editorial will present a point of view with support concerning the removal of the Acadians.

Download Lesson Plan

A resource developed through the "Longfellow & the Forging of American Identity" program funded by NEH