HOME: The Story of Maine

"A Place Apart" - The Story Behind the Image of Maine
Lesson 2: The Geography of Maine Tourism

(for use with both modules of Episode 1)


Guiding Principles

1. A Clear and Effective Communicator

  • Uses oral, written, visual, artistic and technological modes of expression.
  • A Self-Directed and Life-Long Learner
  • Finds and uses information from libraries, electronic data bases and other resources.

    2. A Collaborative and Quality Worker

  • Demonstrates reliability, flexibility, and concern for quality.

    Content Area: SOCIAL STUDIES: Geography: Skills and Tools

    Content Standard: Students will know how to construct and interpret maps and use globes and other geographic tools to locate and derive information about people, places, regions, and environments.

    Performance Indicator: Middle Grades (5-8): Students will develop maps, globes, charts, models, and databases to analyze geographical patterns on the earth.

    Content Area: GEOGRAPHY: Human Interaction with Environments

    Content Standard: Students will understand and analyze the relationships between people and their physical environments.

  • Students will:
    • Use maps of Maine to identify the important physical features of a given region of the state.
    • Develop a map of a given region of Maine that identifies its important physical features.
    • Research, write, and present an information pamphlet on their region for tourists.
    • Work collaboratively with classmates to produce an accurate, attractive, and well-written pamphlet.
    • Several copies of Delorme's Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, or other good topographic and political maps of Maine. For an excellent topographic map of Maine, go to http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/.
    • Physical Features Worksheet
    • Assignment Sheet 2
    • Grading Rubric 2
    • List of suggested resources
    • pencils, erasers, tracing paper, rulers, colored pencils
    2-3 weeks, including time inside and outside of class
    1. Teacher preparation: before class, form students into groups, according to which regions they will be researching (as shown on the map at apollo.ogis.state.me.us/images/images.htm). Students will work both individually and in groups with their assigned region.
    2. Discuss with students how to read a map. Go over the map title, the legend, scale, grid, and date. As an exercise to familiarize students with the maps they will be using, name some physical features of the state, and see how quickly students can find them. (You may choose to skip this step for more advanced classes.)
    3. Assign students the regions they will be working with. Tell them they will be researching these regions individually and in groups.
    4. Have students work individually to fill out their Physical Features worksheet. Students should identify the major rivers, lakes, cities, towns, mountains, islands, and other physical features that fall within the boundaries of their region. Then, have students sketch or trace a map of Maine, including the boundaries of their region. Using their Physical Features worksheets, have students identify these features on their sketch maps of the region.
    5. Break students into groups. Tell them that they have been hired by the Maine Office of Tourism to write a new travel brochure for their region of Maine. Each member of the group should be responsible for a different aspect of the region (i.e. historical landmarks, recreation, industry, natural phenomena, wildlife, things to see and do, etc.). Have the groups split the research tasks up among themselves. Give students Assignment Sheet #2 and the Evaluation Rubric to clarify the expectations of the assignment.
    6. Give students enough time in class and at home to complete their brochures (2-3 weeks are suggested). Check in periodically with groups to make sure they are on target. See Assignment Sheet #2 for more details.
    7. Have students present their regions and their brochures on a pre-designated day. Submit especially good quality brochures to the Chambers of Commerce in the region or post them on the Internet.
    8. Have students evaluate their own individual and group work using the Grading Rubric. Evaluate them yourself using the same standards.
    Extension Activity:
    Create a tourist brochure for your town or community. Work closely with the Chamber of Commerce to identify important places and features to include. Raise money to have the brochures printed professionally and make them available at local bookstores, libraries, and post offices.
    Suggested Resources:

    Internet Sources: Print Sources:
    • The Maine Almanac and Book of Lists, Maine Times, 1994.
    • Maine Geographic Digests, the Geographical Digest Series, by Sherman Hasbrouck, et al. Orono: University of Maine at Orono. 1994-1995.
    • The Maine Atlas and Gazetter, Delorme Company. Find the most recent edition of this indispensable Maine Atlas. It's available for approximately $17 at most book stores in the state.
    • Various recent tourist guides to Maine, such as Maine: Off the Beaten Path, by Wayne Curtis, Maine, by Charles Calhoun, et al, or Maine: An Explorer's Guide, by Christina Tree and Elizabeth Roundy. These kinds of books abound, so encourage students to hunt for their own.
    • Encourage students to email chambers of commerce in their region, or to email the Maine Office of Tourism directly.
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