Lesson Number: 1

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Curriculum Connections Series

Lesson Number: 1

Standards Connection: Social Studies Maine Learning Results – Parameters of Essential Instruction (standard A-1).  A. Applications of Social Studies Processes, Knowledge, and Skills.  1. Researching and Developing Positions on Current Social Studies Issues.

Geographic Region: Statewide

Grade Level: 6-12

Instructional Time: Approximately two to four hours

Introduction:  Contemporary social issues are not divorced from the past and arise from specific historical, economic and cultural conditions.  In this exercise students will have the opportunity to develop a position on an issue of current concern in their community with an understanding of its cultural context and relevance.

Materials: The following materials are required for this lesson:

  • Digital and sound projection equipment, e.g. a MLTI laptop in one-to-one computing environments OR a teacher-directed LCD/sound projection system in traditional classrooms.
  • Access to the Maine Song and Story Sampler website.
  • Access to print or electronic archives of the local or regional newspaper of record (e.g. Bangor Daily News, Lewiston Sun Journal, Portland Press Herald, etc.)
  • Writing materials.

Pre-Teaching: Students should be familiar with researching and retrieving archived materials from newspaper databases or websites.  Students should also be familiar with the range of coverage in local or regional media and the geographic scope of media coverage from the particular regional newspaper the teacher has selected.

Activity: The teacher will lead the class in developing a list of public issues that are of contemporary concern to her students as citizens of the state of Maine and their respective communities and regions.  The instructor will explain how similar issues have provoked public and personal responses in the past.  Students will select one issue from this list for individual research.

Using this issue, each student will conduct two research pieces.  One, they will use the Maine Song and Story Sampler site to find an example of folklore that is connected to their issue.  For example, a student from Maine’s Downeast coast who elected to research commercial fishing, fishing stocks, or fishing traditions might select the story, “Herring and Pollock” told by William Lawrence of Eastport.  Two, the student will use regional newspaper archives to identify a contemporaneous news story connected to the topic (for example, a report of a “lobster war” from the era).  Once the research component is complete the student will create a visual display (such as a poster, flyer or iMovie) describing both the content of the two research pieces and explaining the relationship between the folklore and the event described in the newspaper archive.

Assessment:  Teachers may choose to assess student writing and graphics based upon the rubrics or standards of their respective districts.  Mastery of PEI A-1 may be assessed through a review of the content of the student’s participation in class, the quality of his research and the student’s graphic analysis.

Download pdf: MSSS-A-1