Home: The Story of Maine
Episode 3: They Came By Sea
Lesson 1: Design a Transportation Stamp
Assignment Sheet #1
The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a new series of stamps, called the Transportation in the United States series. Each state in the U.S. has been asked to design a stamp that features the form of transportation that has most influenced its state history. You and your classmates have been chosen to serve on Maine's selection committee.
As a committee, you are responsible for the following tasks:
- Choose a role for each member of the group. Suggested roles are:
- Discussion Facilitator. This person must be good with people. His or her primary task is to keep the group discussions productive, and make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak.
- Research Coordinator. This person must be well organized and should enjoy
research. He or she will be responsible for assigning research tasks to other
members of the group, and making sure those tasks are completed. Every member
of the group will be responsible for some research.
- Presentation Director. This person should enjoy public speaking. He or she
will direct the planning of the presentation, and may do most of the talking
during the presentation. Every member of the group should take part in the
- Artistic Director. This person should enjoy designing, drawing, and/or creating visual art. He or she will be primarily responsible for the group's stamp design.
- Choose a form of transportation that you believe has most influenced Maine's economy and/or culture.
- Research that form of transportation. For example, if you have chosen the railroad, you should find information about the general history of the railroad, when it arrived in Maine, and how it has affected Maine's economy or culture. Make sure you write up a bibliography of the sources you have used in your research. You must use at least 5 sources, including at least two that are non-Internet sources.
- Design a stamp. Your stamp should be colorful, attractive, and should feature your form of transportation clearly.
- Prepare a 7-10 minute presentation for the representatives of the U.S. Postal Service. Your presentation should demonstrate why your stamp should be featured in the series. Each committee should take part in the presentation. Make sure you use visuals. Practice several times before you give it.
As an individual, you are responsible for the following tasks:
- Write a persuasive letter (2-3 pages, typed and double-spaced) to the U.S. Postal Service, explaining why you believe your stamp should be chosen as the stamp to represent Maine in the Transportation in the United States series. Make sure you state your argument clearly, and use examples from your research to back up your opinion.
- Fulfill your role (Discussion Facilitator, Research Coordinator, Presentation Director, or Artistic Director) to the best of your ability.