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MSSS Curriculum Connection Series - Lesson Number: 9

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Curriculum Connections Series

Lesson Number: 9

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

Geographic Region: Statewide

Grade Level: 5-9

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

Introduction: Maine’s physical environment is comprised of diverse regions, micro-climes and landforms.  This diversity is reflected in various economic, social and cultural developments across the region.

Materials: The following materials are required for this lesson:

Pre-Teaching: Students should be familiar with the diversity of Maine’s geography.  At a minimum, students should be able to locate examples of Maine’s outstanding topographical features (highest points, major rivers, etc.) on a map and should be able to articulate the differences between Maine’s major regions, the Southern and Mid-Coat, Downeast Maine, Central Maine and the Northwoods.

Activity: With the teacher, students will identify Maine’s major regions and a major population and cultural center in each region.  Students will be assigned a region and will use the MS&SS website to find a song or story originating in that region.  Students will briefly note what makes their artifact unique to their region.  For example, a student assigned to Downeast Maine or the Northwoods could select the song “The Wabassus Cannonball”  and note the geographic features that link the song to particular locations.  Other clear examples of this geographic link include “The International Boundary Line” told by Jim Connors (Maine-Quebec Border),  “Blueberries and Leathery Ice” told by Lindsey Smallidge (Northeast Harbor), “Kluskap and His Twin Brother” told by Viola Solomon (Maliseet, NB), and Jeep Wilcox’s poem “Man Made Lake” (Flagstaff Lake). Students should then create a “mental map” or geographic drawing of the area described in their document and should annotate their illustration with descriptors form the artifact they have selected.

Assessment:  Teachers may choose to assess student work based upon the rubrics or standards of their respective districts.  Mastery of PEI D-1 may be assessed through a review of the content of the student’s map and annotations.

Download pdf: MSSS D-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:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
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