5-8 Activities

These activities for Our Maine Ancestors were updated in late 2008 and early 2009, along with the Learning Results sections

Ideas to try....

History and Perspective
Explorers and settlers came to Maine for many reasons. Research some of the conditions in Europe that led people to venture west to North America. Read Rosier’s narrative of the Waymouth expedition. Analyze it from the perspective of the author—how would it be different if a Native American had written of these events? What was Rosier’s purpose in writing the narrative? Was he trying to be persuasive? As a primary source, what factors must be considered when reading it?

European explorers and Native Americans developed and used maps in different ways. Try to make a map in both styles.

Analyze cultural stereotypes in print and other media. A good source of activities and information on this topic may be found in The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes (see Resource List).

Europeans unknowingly passed on deadly contagious diseases to Native Americans. Until the nineteenth century, neither group understood the concept of bacteria or viruses. Research the factors that contribute to immunity.

Craft projects lend themselves well to mathematical problems. Math skills involving geometry concepts and measurement are applicable to vessels of exploration, smaller vessels such as Waymouth’s light horseman, canoes, dwellings, and baskets.

Civics and Government
The English settlers’ views of civil liberties, state and national law, and government responsibilities have impacted Maine’s Native American population from the earliest times up to the present. Learn more about these topics, comparing issues such as civil rights for other minority groups in the United States. Learn more about Native American Tribal Law.

What can we learn from Native American art? Did it serve the same purpose as art created by those of European descent? Learn about the role of art in the Native American culture today. Physical activities can coincide with the study of another culture:  learn some traditional Native American dances or games.

Grades 5-8