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Keywords: Authors, United States

Historical Items

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Item 11431

Author Ernest Thompson, Belgrade Lakes, 1982

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1982-07-17 Location: Belgrade Lakes Media: Photographic print

Item 10594

Game of Authors playing card

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: circa 1900 Location: Portland; Cambridge Media: Paper

Item 10595

Game of Authors playing cards

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: circa 1900 Location: Portland; Cambridge Media: Paper

Exhibits

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Exhibit

Writing Women

Published women authors with ties to Maine are too numerous to count. They have made their marks in all types of literature.

Exhibit

State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?

Exhibit

Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a man and a poet of New England conscience. He was influenced by his ancestry and his Portland boyhood home and experience.

Site Pages

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Site Page

Maine's Road to Statehood - Turn of the Century to the War of 1812

… be better defended as part of Massachusetts, the author argued. Further, Maine had more influence at the federal level if it remained a district of…

Site Page

Strong, a Mussul Unsquit village - Online Items

… Rural free delivery service began in the United States in 1891 and was supported by the National Grange, an agricultural organization.

Site Page

Strong, a Mussul Unsquit village - Online Items

… Republican Senator, State or National, in the United States. On August 7, 1954 the Maine Republican Centennial Corporation hosted a centennial…

My Maine Stories

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Story

Vietnam Memoirs
by David Chessey

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND MY OBSERVATION OF NATIONWIDE OPINIONS CONCERNING THE “VIET NAM" WAR

Story

The Wall
by Michael Uhl

What it means to have beaten the odds

Story

Pandemic ruminations and the death of Rose Cleveland
by Tilly Laskey

Correlations between the 1918 and 2020 Pandemics

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: An American Studies Approach to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was truly a man of his time and of his nation; this native of Portland, Maine and graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine became an American icon. Lines from his poems intersperse our daily speech and the characters of his long narrative poems have become part of American myth. Longfellow's fame was international; scholars, politicians, heads-of-state and everyday people read and memorized his poems. Our goal is to show that just as Longfellow reacted to and participated in his times, so his poetry participated in shaping and defining American culture and literature. The following unit plan introduces and demonstrates an American Studies approach to the life and work of Longfellow. Because the collaborative work that forms the basis for this unit was partially responsible for leading the two of us to complete the American & New England Studies Masters program at University of Southern Maine, we returned there for a working definition of "American Studies approach" as it applies to the grade level classroom. Joe Conforti, who was director at the time we both went through the program, offered some useful clarifying comments and explanation. He reminded us that such a focus provides a holistic approach to the life and work of an author. It sets a work of literature in a broad cultural and historical context as well as in the context of the poet's life. The aim of an American Studies approach is to "broaden the context of a work to illuminate the American past" (Conforti) for your students. We have found this approach to have multiple benefits at the classroom and research level. It brings the poems and the poet alive for students and connects with other curricular work, especially social studies. When linked with a Maine history unit, it helps to place Portland and Maine in an historical and cultural context. It also provides an inviting atmosphere for the in-depth study of the mechanics of Longfellow's poetry. What follows is a set of lesson plans that form a unit of study. The biographical "anchor" that we have used for this unit is an out-of-print biography An American Bard: The story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, by Ruth Langland Holberg, Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, c1963. Permission has been requested to make this work available as a downloadable file off this web page, but in the meantime, used copies are readily and cheaply available from various vendors. The poem we have chosen to demonstrate our approach is "Paul Revere's Ride." The worksheets were developed by Judy Donahue, the explanatory essays researched and written by the two of us, and our sources are cited below. We have also included a list of helpful links. When possible we have included helpful material in text format, or have supplied site links. Our complete unit includes other Longfellow poems with the same approach, but in the interest of time and space, they are not included. Please feel free to contact us with questions and comments.