Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Primary Sources: Healthcare History in Maine

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County


6-8, 9-12

  • Social Studies -- History

4-5 days

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

This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to read and analyze letters, literature, and other primary documents and articles of material culture from the MHS collections relating to how people in Maine have given and received healthcare throughout history. Students will discuss the giving and receiving of medicines and treatments from the 18th-21st centuries, the evolving role of hospitals since the 19th century, and how the nursing profession has changed since the Civil War. Students will also look at how people and healthcare facilities in Maine have addressed epidemics in the past, such as influenza and tuberculosis, and what we can learn today from studying the history of healthcare and medicine.

  • Students will analyze and draw conclusions from primary source documents.
  • Students will be able to discuss how some of the healthcare systems in Maine were created to address timely needs.
  • Students will be able to discuss how healthcare needs during the Civil War changed professionalized medical practices.

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