Home: The Story of Maine
"A Place Apart": The Story Behind the Image of
(For use with both modules of Episode 1)
Lesson 3: Maine: A Place Apart?
|ALIGNMENT WITH MAINE'S LEARNING RESULTS:
1. A Clear and Effective CommunicatorUses oral, written, visual, artistic and technological
modes of expression.
Content Area: SOCIAL STUDIES: Geography: Human Interaction
Content Standard: Students will be able to understand and analyze the relationships among people and their physical environment.
Performance Indicator: Secondary Grades: Students will be able to explain factors which shape places and regions over time (e.g. physical and cultural factors).
- Brainstorm phrases that describe Maine from the point of
view of an outsider, before and after watching the program.
- List phrases that describe Maine from the point of view
of a Mainer.
- Create an exhibit that traces the different images of
Maine from its first discovery by the Europeans in the 16th
century, to tourism in the 20th century.
- Write an essay that explains how the image of Maine as "a
place apart" has affected the state's economy, history, and
identity over time.
- old magazines with pictures for students to cut up (Down
East is a good one to use)
- colored pencils, crayons, pens, glue, tape, etc.
- Assignment Sheet #3
- Grading Rubric #3
2-3 days in class, with work at home to complete
- Before viewing A Place Apart: The Story Behind the Image
of Maine, ask students to brainstorm phrases that describe
way Maine is seen by people "from away." Make a list on the
board. Tell students that the program they are about to see
traces the history of the image of Maine as a place apart, from
the arrival of the first European explorers to modern-day
tourists. Encourage students to make note of phrases in the film
that reflect a certain image of Maine.
- After viewing the program, ask students to suggest any
more phrases that should be added to the list. Suggestions may
- Norumbega--a land of milk and honey
- one of the nation's premier fishing states
- the center of the lumber industry
- a place to get away from it all
- an artist's paradise
- a wilderness
- Aroostook "Country"
- a pristine environment that offers a healthy atmosphere
- L.L. Bean
- Now, ask students to analyze the list they've come up
with. How many of these items are actually true about Maine? How
many of them are closer to fantasies about what Maine could or
should be like? What do these phrases leave out? Make another
list next to the first that includes phrases that describe
another side of Maine, one that people from within the state
might be more likely to know. Suggestions might include:
- a place with long, cold winters
- a state with a history of poverty and unemployment
- a state that does offer plentiful, but not unending,
stores of fish and timber
- a place with urban centers like Portland, Augusta, Lewiston
- a place with often restricted access to its beautiful
coast and lakes
- Discuss the two lists with students. Ask questions like
- What do you notice that is different about the two lists?
- What do you notice that is similar? Might people from
away and people from Maine describe the state in similar ways?
- What phrases portray Maine as a kind of fantasy place?
What phrases portray it more truthfully?
- How might your economic status affect the way you think
- What about audience? Why might the first European
explorers have wanted to advertise Maine as the land of
Norumbega? What might today's tourist industry want to promote
the image of Maine being a place apart?
- Discuss with students the fact that the image of Maine as
a place apart has affected the state's development in many ways.
Maine was settled by Europeans who believed it to be a place
where they could fish and farm and own their own land, a place
removed from the dense centers of population they knew in
Europe. Tourism is one of Maine's largest industries, and the
tourist industry thrives on the image of Maine as a place apart.
In the past several decades, many people from urban centers like
New York or Boston have moved to Maine precisely because they
were looking to move away from the dirty city into a more
pristine, removed environment.
How else has this image of Maine as a place apart
affected the state's economy? How have European settlers and
tourists from away shaped the development of Maine?
- Do native Mainers think of themselves as removed from
society, as living in a place apart? Why or why not? What are
the positives of this image? What are the negatives?
- Have students create a Visual History of the Image of
Maine. They may use cutout pictures from magazines and
newspapers or make their own drawings. Along with their visual
history, they should write an essay that explains the graphics
they chose, as well as discusses the way the image of Maine as
"a place apart" has affected the development of the state. See
Assignment Sheet #3 for details. Provide students with the
Grading Rubric when you assign the project.
- Have students evaluate their own Visual History exhibit
and essay using Rubric #3. Evaluate them yourself, using the
- Hang students' exhibits and essays in the classroom. Host
a gallery opening: invite other classes in to view the students'
exhibits and to discuss the image of Maine as they see it.
Have students research the economic impact of the
tourist industry on the state. How much money does it bring in
each year? How many people does it employ? How have these
figures changed over the past 20 to 50 years?
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