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MSSS Curriculum Connection Series - Lesson Number: 6

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Curriculum Connections Series

Lesson Number: 6

Standards Connection: Social Studies Maine Learning Results – Parameters of Essential Instruction (standard B-3).  B. Civics and Government.  3. Individual, Cultural, International, and Global Connections in Civics and Government.

Geographic Region: Statewide

Grade Level: 8-12

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

Introduction: Political events can impact citizens across borders and through time.  Folklore is powerful because it provides a vehicle for cross-cultural connections.

Materials: The following materials are required for this lesson:

Pre-Teaching: Students should be aware of the chronology of Maine’s participation in the Civil War and the deep emotional impact that the war had on Maine citizens and other Americans.  Students should also be advised that the events of this era were reported widely throughout the world and held a deep fascination for citizens of other nations, as well as Americans.

Activity: Students will read the archival notes and listen to the song “The Soldier’s Letter,” sung by  Joseph Pagett (Markhamville, NB).  Using this artifact students will compose a response from the dead soldier’s mother to the U.S. government.  Students should be guided to compose letters that advocate a specific policy on the war, e.g. continue the war to its conclusion, end the war, etc.

Following the composition and submission of their letters to the teacher, the instructor may lead a class discussion on the impact that songs such as this may have had on individuals’ perception on militarism and nationalism throughout the late nineteenth century and beyond.

Assessment:  Teachers may choose to assess student writing based upon the rubrics or standards of their respective districts.  Mastery of PEI B-3 may be assessed through a review of the content of the student’s letter or a critique of the student’s participation in class discussion.

Download pdf: MSSS B-3

Back to MSSS Curriculum Connection Series


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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:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System