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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.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Maine Governors

Grade Level: Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
Students will learn about the people who have occupied the office of Governor and how the Office of Governor operates. The students will understand the different hats and relationships that the Governor has.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Maine Statehood

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
Maine's quest for statehood began in the years immediately following the American Revolution. Though the state of Massachusetts consented to the separation in 1819 and Maine would ultimately achieve statehood in 1820, Maine’s split from Massachusetts was not without controversy and was not universally supported by people living in Maine. Using primary sources, students will explore the arguments for and against Maine statehood. Students will gather evidence and arguments to debate the statement: It is in the best interests of the people of Maine for Maine to become its own state.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Becoming Maine: The Votes for Statehood

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: Social Studies
Maine became a state in 1820 after separating from Massachusetts, but the call for statehood had begun long before the final vote. Why did it take so long? Was 1820 the right time? In this lesson, students will begin to place where Maine’s statehood fits into the broader narrative of 18th and 19th century American political history. They will have the opportunity to cast their own Missouri Compromise vote after learning about Maine’s long road to statehood.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Becoming Maine: The District of Maine's Coastal Economy

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will introduce students to the maritime economy of Maine prior to statehood and to the Coasting Law that impacted the separation debate. Students will examine primary documents, take part in an activity that will put the Coasting Law in the context of late 18th century – early 19th century New England, and learn about how the Embargo Act of 1807 affected Maine in the decades leading to statehood.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Maine Statehood and the Missouri Compromise

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
Using primary sources, students will explore the arguments for and against Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise, and the far-reaching implications of Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise such as the preservation and spread of slavery in the United States. Students will gather evidence and arguments to debate the statement: The Missouri Compromise was deeply flawed and ultimately did more harm to the Union than good.

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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.

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Black History and the History of Slavery in Maine

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the Black community in Maine and the U.S., including Black people who were enslaved in Maine, Maine’s connections to slavery and the slave trade, a look into the racism and discrimination many Black people in Maine have experienced, and highlights selected histories of Black people, demonstrating the longevity of their experiences and contributions to the community and culture in Maine.

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Chinese in Maine

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the Chinese/Chinese Americans in Maine and the U.S. including some of the factors that led to Chinese immigration to the U.S., the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a look into the xenophobia, racism, and discrimination many Chinese Americans have experienced and continue to experience, and the contributions of Chinese Americans to community life and culture in Maine.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Immigration: Challenges and Opportunities in Maine

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.

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Jews in Maine

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of Jews in Maine and the U.S., including some of the factors that led to Jewish immigration to the U.S., examination of the prejudice, discrimination and anti-Semitism many Jews have experienced, and the contributions of Jews to community life and culture in Maine.

Lesson Plan

Irish and Ulster Scots in Maine

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the Irish and Ulster Scots/Scots Irish in Maine and the U.S., including some of the factors that led to their immigration to the U.S., a look into the prejudice and discrimination many Irish and Ulster Scots/Scots Irish experienced, and the contributions of Irish and Ulster Scots/Scots Irish to community life and culture in Maine.

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Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Primary Sources: Maine Women's Causes and Influence before 1920

Grade Level: 6-8 Content Area: Social Studies
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 the women of Maine between the end of the Revolutionary War through the national vote for women’s suffrage in 1920. Students will discuss issues including war relief (Civil War and World War I), suffrage, abolition, and temperance, and how the women of Maine mobilized for or in some cases helped to lead these movements.

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LGBTQ+ History in Maine

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12, Postsecondary Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson presents an overview of the history of the LGBTQ community in Maine and the U.S., including the ways in which attitudes towards the LGBTQ community have changed over time, some of the ways LGBTQ people have faced discrimination and unfair treatment, and some of the moments in Maine and U.S. history that inspired LGBTQ people and their allies to fight for equality and LGBTQ rights.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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Immigration: The Not So Open Door

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

An Exploration into Maine's History

Grade Level: 3-5 Content Area: Social Studies
This investigation was designed to utilize the resources of the Maine Memory Network and the Library of Congress. Students will have the opportunity to create their own albums from MMN, research their local history, and that of the state of Maine. This is a progressive approach that begins with an investigation into Yarmouth, Maine’s history, however, it could easily be adapted for any home town. Part of the exploration includes suggested visits to the local historical society and discussions with the school historian. The creative writing piece calls for students to become someone who lived in their town 100 years ago; they find the information they need be research on MMN and the Library of Congress and then write and share their stories. Along each step of the way, students created, saved, and shared albums of materials related to their research and work on MMN. The second part of this lesson is designed to coincide with the study of the history of the state of Maine and of the United States.

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.