Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Primary Sources: The Maine Shipyard

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Social Studies -- Personal Finance & Economics
  • Social Studies -- History

3-4 days

  • 1775-1850
  • 1851-1920
  • 1921-today
  • Economy
  • Environment/The Land

This lesson plan will give students a close-up look at historical operations behind Maine's famed shipbuilding and shipping industries. Students will examine primary sources including letters, bills of lading, images, and objects, and draw informed hypotheses about the evolution of the seafaring industry and its impact on Maine’s communities over time.

  • Students will analyze and draw conclusions from primary source documents.
  • Students will be able to articulate the importance of maritime industry in Maine history.
  • Students will make informed ideas about the evolution of the Maine shipyard from the 18th-20th centuries based on primary documents, images, and objects.
  • Students will be able to discuss how unions and organizations impacted Maine maritime industry workers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Students will discuss how maritime industries impacted port towns economically and socially.

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