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Information for Classroom Teachers

Are you planning to download a HOME lesson plan? Have you in the past? If so, we would like to hear from you. Help us assess and improve the effectiveness of the lesson plans by e-mailing Chris Sweet  at csweet@mpbn.net today. 

Complete Lesson Plans

Click on the links for printable lesson plans and worksheets.

Tips for Using Video in the Classroom


Educators have unlimited rights to copy and use, in their entirety, all of the HOME: The Story of Maine printed and video materials for use in their classrooms.


Off-Air Recording

Maine Educators may record their own copy of the programs off-air as they are broadcast on the stations of Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Maine State Library

Copies of all HOME: The Story of Maine programs are available to Maine educators through the Maine State Library's Educational Video Services (EVS) program. Their telephone number is (207) 287-5620.

Purchasing Copies

General Audience and Out-of-State Educators: All general audience requests and out-of-state requests for copies of the program should be forwarded to Maine Public Television's Audience Services at 1-800-884-1717.

General Classroom Activities

   Read Wabanaki Literature and learn about Wabanaki Languages.  It is impossible for us to find out exactly what Wabanaki culture was like before the Europeans arrived in Maine. But reading and/or listening to Gluskap stories is one way to study some of the values of Wabanaki culture that have been passed down over generations. Gluskap was a hero-god, the founding father of the Wabanaki world. He shot his arrow into an ash tree and created the first man and woman. He tamed the animals and the earth to make it easier for Wabanaki peoples to live in the world. Read some Gluskap stories out loud with your class. What kinds of values do the stories teach? What do they tell you about the way Wabanaki People perceived the earth, animals, nature? Have students compare the Gluskap stories with stories they know or were told as children. Which values seem similar? Which seem different?

   Write an Explorer Biography. Who were the first European souls to explore this landscape? What were they interested in? What brought them to the New World and to Maine? Have students choose an explorer that interests them (like John Smith, Samuel de Champlain, Giovanni da Verrazano, George Weymouth, etc.) and research his life. Have them write a brief biography and present their research to the class in character. They should come dressed as their explorer and tell stories about his life, why he decided to come to the New World, and what he found there when he arrived.

   Create a Future Archaeological Dig. Archaeologists study cultures of the past by drawing conclusions from physical artifacts they find buried in layers of earth. They look for evidence of a culture's diet, cookware, weaponry, burial customs, shelter and other structures. What will archaeologists have to say about our culture one to two thousand years from now? Have your students create a replica (a diorama or a drawing) of a future archaeological dig on the current site of their home. What items would survive that long? What kinds of conclusions might future archaeologists make about present-day culture in Maine based on what they found?

   Build a Colony. Split the class into three or four groups and give your students the following scenario: Imagine you are part of a group of European colonists arriving on the coast of Maine. You have livestock with you and a supply of food to last a few weeks. Your task is to build a colony that will provide food and shelter for your group and will protect you from hostile enemies. With your group, design a detailed plan for your colony. What will you need? What will you build? What will you have to grow? What will you trade with the Native People for? Create a map of your colony. Label it clearly so others can read it. [Based on Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past, A Resource Guide, by Amy Hassinger. University of Maine Press. Used with permission.]

   Explore Different Ways of Communicating. Trade brought many Wabanaki People and European colonists together. But how did they communicate? In most instances, neither group knew the other's language, so much communication had to happen through signs and body language. Try an exercise with your class. Split the class into two groups: the Europeans and the native people. Give tudents on each side messages written on index cards and have them attempt to explain their message to the other side using only body language. Debrief with the class after the exercise. How did it feel to be prohibited from using English? Was it frustrating? What communication methods worked? Why? Were you misunderstood? How did it feel? How do you imagine it must have felt for the native people and the Europeans, when the stakes were much higher than a classroom exercise? [Based on Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past, A Resource Guide, by Amy Hassinger. University of Maine Press. Used with permission.]

   Create a Local History Project. Have students research a local historical landmark, such as a colonial homestead, or an old church, graveyard, or school. If there are no buildings of historical significance in your town, have them research the early history of the town. How long ago was it settled by Europeans? Who were the first settlers? Were there any battles fought in or near your town during the Anglo-Wabanaki wars or the Revolution? Have students write a paper on the landmark of their choice, or on the town's early history. As a class, create a brochure for tourists that details all the local historical landmarks your students found in their research.

   Create a Bill of Rights. The Maine Consitution, written by delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1819, was based on the Massachusetts Constitution. The first section of the Maine Constitution is called the Declaration of Rights. It is similar to the section of the U.S. Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. Study the Declaration of Rights with your class (you may want to excerpt some of it, rather than studying the entire thing.) Does the document guarantee the freedom of Maine citizens? Does it provide adequate protection for the rights of its citizens? What do you believe are your rights as a human being? What are not rights, but are privileges? Have students write their own individual Declarations of Rights. They should include at least ten items that they consider to be their rights as a citizen of the state of Maine. Have students share their declarations of rights with the class. [Based on Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past, A Resource Guide, by Amy Hassinger. University of Maine Press. Used with permission.]

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HOME: The Story of Maine on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network was made in partnership with the Maine State Museum. Major funding was provided by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency committed to fostering innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Additional funding provided by Elsie Viles.
Major funding for previous seasons of  HOME: The Story of Maine was made possible by a grant from Rural Development, a part of the USDA. Special support is provided by The Maine State Museum and Northeast Historic Films.