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MSSS Curriculum Connection Series - Lesson Number: 11

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Curriculum Connections Series

Lesson Number: 11

Standards Connection: Social Studies Maine Learning Results – Parameters of Essential Instruction (standard E-1).  E. History.  1. Historical Knowledge, Concepts, Themes, and Patterns.

Geographic Region: Statewide

Grade Level: 8-12

Instructional Time: Approximately one to one and one-half hours

Introduction: Historical analysis is an essential component of folklore studies.  Folklore is best understood in historical context.  Furthermore, the process of change and evolution – central to the development of folksongs and stories – can only be assessed in light of other social/cultural changes.

Materials: The following materials are required for this lesson:

Pre-Teaching: Students should be aware of Maine’s immigrant history, particularly the development of Francophone Maine communities.  Teachers should introduce the concepts of enculturation and cultural diffusion and  explain how distinct communities have influenced each other over time.

Activity: Students will read and listen to the document, “Youpe! Youpe! Sur la Riviere!”  The teacher should instruct the students to describe in their notes the meaning of the song and details about the relationships described  in the lyrics (e.g. travel, love and friendship).  Students will then find a modern popular song which they feel describes similar themes.  In a teacher led discussion students will explain how certain themes persist in popular song, but how other details change.  Students should be asked to identify specific details that differ in songs over time.  For example, many contemporary songs eschew references to smoking and popular music media outlets such as MTV and VH1 ban references to tobacco use in videos and songs broadcast on their networks, while “Youpe! Youpe! Sur la Riviere!” includes a direct reference to tobacco use.  Following the brainstorming session students will identify and describe in writing a verse from the folksong and their contemporary song that share a similar theme or meaning and will describe in writing one significant difference that they attribute to historical cultural change.

Assessment:  Teachers may choose to assess student writing based upon the rubrics or standards of their respective districts.  Mastery of PEI E-1 may be assessed through a review of the content of the student’s essay and through the student’s participation in class discussion.

Download pdf: MSSS E-1

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Maine Folklife Center
5773 South Stevens, Room 112B
Orono, Maine 04469-5773
Phone: (207) 581-1891 | Fax: (207) 581-1823E-mail: folklife@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System