Lesson Number: 13

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Curriculum Connections Series

Lesson Number: 13

Standards Connection: Social Studies Summary Exercise

Geographic Region: Statewide

Grade Level: 5-12

Instructional Time: Approximately three class sessions.

Introduction: The study of folklore is a useful pedagogical tool across the Social Studies.  As students develop skills and expertise in historical methods, civics, economics, geography and history they can draw upon Maine’s rich folk tradition to illustrate social phenomena.  The Maine Song and Story Sampler has been designed to allow citizens access to Maine’s rich folk tradition.

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.
  • Writing materials.

Pre-Teaching: Students should be familiar with the diversity Maine’s folk tradition and should be comfortable accessing the MS&SS website.

Activity: Based upon their previous exposure to the Maine Song and Story Sampler students should have at least a cursory familiarity with the materials archived on the site.  Students will be given time to explore the documents and select an artifact, song or story in which they have a personal interest.  Students should be encouraged to select materials with which they can articulate geographic, historical or cultural connections.  Students should be allowed time to conduct this review and should be encouraged to discuss their selections with their classmates.

Using their selection as a model, students should compose a song or story that fits the conventions of their selected piece, but which is based upon details of their own experience.  For example, a student who selected the folksong, “Wild Colonial Boy” might compose lyrics in similar meter that describe a Maine boy moving to a city rather than colonial Australia or may describe adventures in a modern setting rather than as a highwayman or train robber.

In the final session students should be encouraged to share their new folksongs and stories with their peers.  Stories could be read or recited, songs could be spoken, sung or lyrics printed.  It should be emphasized that performance is an integral part of the folklore experience.  Students should know that the documents archived on the MS&SS site were not meant to be read, but experienced.  They should be encouraged and rewarded for sharing their own folksongs and stories in their class communities.

Assessment:  Teachers may choose to assess student work based upon the rubrics or standards of their respective districts.  Mastery of the Summary Exercise may be assessed through a review of the content of the student’s work and through a review of the student’s performance.

Download pdf:  MSSS Summary Exercise