HOME: The Story of Maine

"A Part of the Main": European Settlement of the Mainland
Lesson 1: Culture and Resource Use

for use with Modules 1 and 2


Guiding Principles:

1. A Clear and Effective Communicator

  • Uses oral, written, visual, artistic, and technological modes of expression.

    2. A Creative and Practical Problem Solver

  • bserves situations objectively to clearly and accurately define problems.

    3. A Responsible and Involved Citizen

  • Recognizes and understands the diverse nature of society.

    4. A Collaborative and Quality Worker

  • Demonstrates reliability, flexibility, and concern for quality.

    SOCIAL STUDIES: History: Historical Knowledge, Concepts and Patterns

  • Students will develop historical knowledge of major events, people, and enduring themes in the United States, in Maine, and throughout world history. Students will be able to:

    Secondary Grades:

  • Explain how different ways of knowing and believing have influenced human history and culture.
  • Explain the benefits and conflicts resulting from encounters among cultures.

    GEOGRAPHY: Human Interaction with Environments

  • Students will understand and analyze the relationships among people and their physical environments. Students will be able to:

    Secondary Grades:

  • Explain factors which shape places and regions over time (e.g., physical and cultural factors).

  • Students will:
    • Read and understand excerpts from The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes.
    • Compare and contrast the different ways European settlers and Wabanaki Indians used the land and its resources.
    • Write a conversation between a Wabanaki person and an English person that demonstrates an understanding of the different cultures and that negotiates a plausible solution to a given problem.
    • Excerpts from The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes, Historical Overview
    • Land and Resource Use Chart
    • Assignment Sheet #1
    • Grading Rubric #1
    5-6 days in class, with time outside of class to complete assignment
    1. After viewing A Part of the Main: European Settlement of the Mainland, discuss with your students the relationship between environment and culture. How do different cultures make use of their environments? How does environment shape culture? Begin by looking at the familiar. Ask questions like the following:
      • How many ways do you interact with your environment throughout the course of a day?
      • What resources does Maine's natural environment provide? What resources does the local community's environment provide?
      • How do we use those resources?
      • What are our ideas about land and who owns it?
      • How has Maine's environment shaped its economy?
      • How do you think things might be different in Maine if the surrounding environment were different?
    2. Have students read the excerpts from The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes. Depending on the reading level of your students, you may want to have them read it together as a class, in pairs, or on their own. Or, you may want to present the material in a lecture.
    3. Go over the reading with your students carefully in class. Make sure they understand the main points. After they have read the excerpts, have students fill out the Land and Resource Use Charts individually (possibly for homework), using the information from the reading (or lecture).
    4. Go over students' charts in class. Make a chart together on the board or on a large piece of butcher paper. Compare and contrast the different ways that both cultures used the land and its resources. Ask students to imagine how these differences might have created conflicts between the two groups. Make a list of possible conflicts on the board.
    5. Tell students they will have the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of people from these two cultures and to try to solve one of these conflicts. Students should form pairs, and choose one of the scenarios presented on Assignment Sheet #1. They will then write a conversation that might have occurred between a Wabanaki Indian and an English settler concerning the conflict they have chosen. They will perform their conversation in class. See Assignment Sheet #1 and the Grading Rubric for details.
    6. On a designated day in class, have students present their conversations. Then, have students grade their own performances according to the Grading Rubric. Grade them yourself, using the same criteria.
    • Compare conflicts that arose over land and resource use in colonial days to conflicts that arise today. Look at the conflicts between the timber industry and environmentalists, for example. Or, conflicts over coastal access between private property owners and tourists.
    • Have students research an aspect of Wabanaki culture that has persisted in Maine throughout the years. They might look at basketmaking, hunting, or storytelling. How has the custom changed? How has it stayed the same?
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