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Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Wabanaki Studies: Stewarding Natural Resources

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: Science & Engineering, Social Studies
This lesson plan will introduce elementary-grade students to the concepts and importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK), taught and understood through oral history to generations of Wabanaki people. Students will engage in discussions about how humans can be stewards of the local ecosystem, and how non-Native Maine citizens can listen to, learn from, and amplify the voices of Wabanaki neighbors to assist in the future of a sustainable environment. Students will learn about Wabanaki artists, teachers, and leaders from the past and present to help contextualize the concepts and ideas in this lesson, and learn about how Wabanaki youth are carrying tradition forward into the future.

Lesson Plan

Immigration: U.S. Immigrants and the Land of Opportunity

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
Learn about immigration in the United States using primary sources from Maine Memory Network and the Library of Congress.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Nation to Nation: Treaties and Legislation between the Wabanaki Nations and the State of Maine

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan asks high school students to think critically about and look closely at documentation regarding the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Wabanaki Tribes/Nations and the State of Maine. This lesson asks students to participate in discussions about morality and legislative actions over time. Students will gain experience examining and responding to primary and secondary sources by taking a close look at documents relating to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 (MICSA) and the issues that preceded and have followed the Act.

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: The Elms - Stephen Longfellow's Gorham Farm

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
On April 3, 1761 Stephen Longfellow II signed the deed for the first 100 acre purchase of land that he would own in Gorham, Maine. His son Stephen III (Judge Longfellow) would build a home on that property which still stands to this day. Judge Longfellow would become one of the most prominent citizens in Gorham’s history and one of the earliest influences on his grandson Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's work as a poet. This exhibit examines why the Longfellows arrived in Gorham, Judge Longfellow's role in the history of the town, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's vacations in the country which may have influenced his greatest work, and the remains of the Longfellow estate still standing in Gorham today.

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: The American Wilderness? How 19th Century American Artists Viewed the Separation Of Civilization and Nature

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies, Visual & Performing Arts
When European settlers began coming to the wilderness of North America, they did not have a vision that included changing their lifestyle. The plan was to set up self-contained communities where their version of European life could be lived. In the introduction to The Crucible, Arthur Miller even goes as far as saying that the Puritans believed the American forest to be the last stronghold of Satan on this Earth. When Roger Chillingworth shows up in The Scarlet Letter's second chapter, he is welcomed away from life with "the heathen folk" and into "a land where iniquity is searched out, and punished in the sight of rulers and people." In fact, as history's proven, they believed that the continent could be changed to accommodate their interests. Whether their plans were enacted in the name of God, the King, or commerce and economics, the changes always included – and still do to this day - the taming of the geographic, human, and animal environments that were here beforehand. It seems that this has always been an issue that polarizes people. Some believe that the landscape should be left intact as much as possible while others believe that the world will inevitably move on in the name of progress for the benefit of mankind. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby – a book which many feel is one of the best portrayals of our American reality - the narrator, Nick Carraway, looks upon this progress with cynicism when he ends his narrative by pondering the transformation of "the fresh green breast of a new world" that the initial settlers found on the shores of the continent into a modern society that unsettlingly reminds him of something out of a "night scene by El Greco." Philosophically, the notions of progress, civilization, and scientific advancement are not only entirely subjective, but also rest upon the belief that things are not acceptable as they are. Europeans came here hoping for a better life, and it doesn't seem like we've stopped looking. Again, to quote Fitzgerald, it's the elusive green light and the "orgiastic future" that we've always hoped to find. Our problem has always been our stoic belief system. We cannot seem to find peace in the world either as we've found it or as someone else may have envisioned it. As an example, in Miller's The Crucible, his Judge Danforth says that: "You're either for this court or against this court." He will not allow for alternative perspectives. George W. Bush, in 2002, said that: "You're either for us or against us. There is no middle ground in the war on terror." The frontier -- be it a wilderness of physical, religious, or political nature -- has always frightened Americans. As it's portrayed in the following bits of literature and artwork, the frontier is a doomed place waiting for white, cultured, Europeans to "fix" it. Anything outside of their society is not just different, but unacceptable. The lesson plan included will introduce a few examples of 19th century portrayal of the American forest as a wilderness that people feel needs to be hesitantly looked upon. Fortunately, though, the forest seems to turn no one away. Nature likes all of its creatures, whether or not the favor is returned. While I am not providing actual activities and daily plans, the following information can serve as a rather detailed explanation of things which can combine in any fashion you'd like as a group of lessons.

Lesson Plan

Portland History: Signalizing and Non-Verbal Communications at the Portland Observatory

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual & Performing Arts
This lesson is an overview of Captain Lemuel Moody's (builder of the Observatory) signaling system used at the Portland Observatory. Activities range from flag making to mapping and journal writing. The "Signals" slide show allows students to look at Captain Moody's general and private signals notebooks. Students are asked a series of questions about the notebooks and Moody's signaling system allowing for a better understanding of the principles behind the Observatory.

Lesson Plan

Portland History: The Portland Observatory and Thermometrics

Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8 Content Area: Science & Engineering, Social Studies
Thermometrics is a term coined by Moody to describe his weather recording activities. Included here are some cross-curricula lesson plans and activities for students to use their knowledge in science, math and social studies while acting as weather forecasters. Check out the web-sites listed in this section for information on building your own barometer and anemometer.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Why is Maine the Pine Tree State?

Grade Level: K-2 Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will give students in early elementary grades a foundation for identifying the recognizable animals and natural resources of Maine. In this lesson, students will learn about and identify animals and plants significant to the state, and will identify what types of environments are best suited to different types of plant and animal life. Students will have the opportunity to put their own community wildlife into a large-scale perspective.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Primary Sources: The Maine Shipyard

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
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.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Maine's Beneficial Bugs: Insect Sculpture Upcycle/ Recycle S.T.E.A.M Challenge

Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8 Content Area: Science & Engineering, Visual & Performing Arts
In honor of Earth Day (or any day), Students use recycled, reused, and upcycled materials to create a sculpture of a beneficial insect that lives in the state of Maine. Students use the Engineer Design Process to develop their ideas. Students use the elements and principles to analyze their prototypes and utilize interpersonal skills during peer feedback protocol to accept and give constructive feedback.

Lesson Plan

Portland History: Mapping Portland, 1690 - 1900

Grade Level: 6-8 Content Area: Social Studies
Historical maps, like all historical documents, can be interpreted in many ways. This lesson plan uses five maps to trace the development of Portland from its earliest settlements.

Lesson Plan

Portland History: Lemuel Moody and the Portland Observatory

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: Social Studies
Lemuel Moody and the Portland Observatory Included are interesting facts to share with your students and for students, an interactive slide show available on-line at Maine Memory Network. The "Images" slide show allows students to place historical images of the Observatory in a timeline. Utilizing their observation skills students will place these images in chronological order by looking for changes within the built environment for clues. Also available is the "Maps" slide show, a series of maps from key eras in Portland's history. Students will answer the questions in the slide show to better understand the topography of Portland, the need for an Observatory and the changes in the landscape and the population centers.

Lesson Plan

Portland History: "My Lost Youth" - Longfellow's Portland, Then and Now

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow loved his boyhood home of Portland, Maine. Born on Fore Street, the family moved to his maternal grandparents' home on Congress Street when Henry was eight months old. While he would go on to Bowdoin College and travel extensively abroad, ultimately living most of his adult years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he never forgot his beloved Portland. Years after his childhood, in 1855, he wrote "My Lost Youth" about his undiminished love for and memories of growing up in Portland. This exhibit, using the poem as its focus, will present the Portland of Longfellow's boyhood. In many cases the old photos will be followed by contemporary images of what that site looked like 2004. Following the exhibit of 68 slides are five suggested lessons that can be adapted for any grade level, 3–12.

Lesson Plan

Primary Sources: Using Source Documents in the Classroom

Grade Level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan introduces teachers how to use a source document and the Maine Memory Network in classrooms. It can be used in any grade and will require one or more source documents, which can be found by searching the Maine Memory Network for the topic of your choice.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Wabanaki Studies: Out of Ash

Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: Science & Engineering, Social Studies
This lesson plan will give middle and high school students a broad overview of the ash tree population in North America, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) threatening it, and the importance of the ash tree to the Wabanaki people in Maine. Students will look at Wabanaki oral histories as well as the geological/glacial beginnings of the region we now know as Maine for a general understanding of how the ash tree came to be a significant part of Wabanaki cultural history and environmental history in Maine. Students will compare national measures to combat the EAB to the Wabanaki-led Ash Task Force’s approaches in Maine, will discuss the benefits and challenges of biological control of invasive species, the concept of climigration, the concepts of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and how research scientists arrive at best practices for aiding the environment.

Lesson Plan

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride Companion Curriculum

Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8 Content Area: Social Studies
These lesson plans were developed by Maine Historical Society for the Seashore Trolley Museum as a companion curriculum for the historical fiction YA novel "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride" by Jean. M. Flahive (2019). The novel tells the story of Millie Thayer, a young girl who dreams of leaving the family farm, working in the city, and fighting for women's suffrage. Millie's life begins to change when a "flying carpet" shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm and when a fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, Millie finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. The lesson plans in this companion curriculum explore a variety of topics including the history of the trolley use in early 20th century Maine, farm and rural life at the turn of the century, the story of Theodore Roosevelt and his relationship with Maine, WWI, and the flu pandemic of 1918-1920.

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: "The Slave's Dream"

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
In December of 1842 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Poems on Slavery was published. "The Slave's Dream" is one of eight anti-slavery poems in the collection. A beautifully crafted and emotionally moving poem, it mesmerizes the reader with the last thoughts of an African King bound to slavery, as he lies dying in a field of rice. The 'landscape of his dreams' include the lordly Niger flowing, his green-eyed Queen, the Caffre huts and all of the sights and sounds of his homeland until at last 'Death illuminates his Land of Sleep.'

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: The Acadian Diaspora - Reading "Evangeline" as a Feminist and Metaphoric Text

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Evangeline, Longfellow's heroine, has long been read as a search for Evangeline's long-lost love, Gabrielle--separated by the British in 1755 at the time of the Grand Derangement, the Acadian Diaspora. The couple comes to find each other late in life and the story ends. Or does it? Why does Longfellow choose to tell the story of this cultural group with a woman as the protagonist who is a member of a minority culture the Acadians? Does this say something about Longfellow's ability for understanding the misfortunes of others? Who is Evangeline searching for? Is it Gabriel, or her long-lost land of Acadia? Does the couple represent that which is lost to them, the land of their birth and rebirth? These are some of the thoughts and ideas which permeate Longfellow's text, Evangeline, beyond the tale of two lovers lost to one another. As the documentary, Evangeline's Quest (see below) states: "The Acadians, the only people to celebrate their defeat." They, as a cultural group, are found in the poem and their story is told.

Lesson Plan

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

Grade Level: 6-8 Content Area: Social Studies
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.