These activities for Our Maine Ancestors were updated in late 2008 and early 2009, along with the Learning Results.
Ideas to try....
Language, Technology, and Culture
Explore Native American culture, past and present. Compare the birch bark technology of Maine’s Indians in1600 vs. the tools and vessels of the English explorers; cultural artifacts of Native Americans and Europeans, including language; and art forms.
Chart or graph data on explorers’ vessels and speeds, distances, and the kinds of measurement used by Europeans and Native Americans. Native Americans’ view of maps lends itself to both math and geography.
History and Perspective
Facts about European exploration and settlement of Maine may be viewed from two sides; Native Americans living here at the time had a different view of these events than Europeans did. Use information from a source such as Rosier’s narrative of Waymouth’s voyage, and think about how a Native American would interpret the events portrayed so positively by Rosier. (See Resource List; some transcription may be necessary although students will be interested in early uses of language and spelling.)
Native Americans and other populations have not always been accorded civil rights. Study treatment of various minority groups. Were treaties fair to Native Americans? Besides lack of compliance on the part of the English or French, what other factors might have influenced a sense of fairness?
Learn about some significant Native American historical figures. Learn about an explorer or leader of an early settlement. Compare life in Maine today for a tribal member living on a reservation to a person of European descent living in a nearby town. Imagine living in Maine in a certain year—maybe just before the American Revolution. What changes would be happening in daily life?
Trade with Europeans resulted in some damaging effects on Native people. What were they? Find similar situations in the world today or in the past.
Learn about, and participate in, some Native American arts. Think about art forms in different cultures and their purposes and meanings.