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Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: The Village Blacksmith - The Reality of a Poem

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
"The Village Blacksmith" was a much celebrated poem. Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poem appeared to celebrate the work ethic and mannerisms of a working man, the icon of every rural community, the Blacksmith. However, what was the poem really saying?

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: Longfellow Amongst His Contemporaries - The Ship of State DBQ

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Preparation Required/Preliminary Discussion: Lesson plans should be done in the context of a course of study on American literature and/or history from the Revolution to the Civil War. The ship of state is an ancient metaphor in the western world, especially among seafaring people, but this figure of speech assumed a more widespread and literal significance in the English colonies of the New World. From the middle of the 17th century, after all, until revolution broke out in 1775, the dominant system of governance in the colonies was the Navigation Acts. The primary responsibility of colonial governors, according to both Parliament and the Crown, was the enforcement of the laws of trade, and the governors themselves appointed naval officers to ensure that the various provisions and regulations of the Navigation Acts were executed. England, in other words, governed her American colonies as if they were merchant ships. This metaphorical conception of the colonies as a naval enterprise not only survived the Revolution but also took on a deeper relevance following the construction of the Union. The United States of America had now become the ship of state, launched on July 4th 1776 and dedicated to the radical proposition that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. This proposition is examined and tested in any number of ways during the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. Novelists and poets, as well as politicians and statesmen, questioned its viability: Whither goes the ship of state? Is there a safe harbor somewhere up ahead or is the vessel doomed to ruin and wreckage? Is she well built and sturdy or is there some essential flaw in her structural frame?

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

Bicentennial Lesson Plan

Maine in the News: World War I Newspaper Project

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan is designed to introduce students to the important role that Maine played in World War I. Students will act as investigators in order to learn about the time period as well as the active role that Maine took on.

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

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.