These activities for Working the Bay were updated in late 2008 and early 2009, along with the Learning Results.
Ideas to try....
If you had lived 100 or 150 years ago, what jobs would have interested you? Why? Use this question as a writing exercise, an oral presentation, or a drawing or other art work.
Investigate work/occupations in other areas of the U.S. and the world that are similar to Maine.
English Language Arts
Using the resource list of children’s books relating to Penobscot Bay industries, have students read independently and show comprehension through a presentation or report. Compare information in the book to aspects of life today.
What health issues would have affected workers in the 19th century? What do you think would be the health hazards of the lime industry? Ice? Shipbuilding? Quarrying granite? How would new technology have helped with these issues? What new hazards exist because of the new technology?
Some very large numbers are part of the Working the Bay module: miles of shoreline, number of islands, board feet of lumber shipped from Bangor, etc. Put them in order, perform operations, and make graphs.
Science and Technology
Collect samples of granite, slate, limestone, marble, etc, and samples of different kinds of soils; or samples of woods such as white pine, spruce, hemlock, red oak, birch, maple, cedar, and others. Describe how they are alike and different. Use a magnifying glass.
How is energy produced today in Maine? How was energy created in the 19th century? Are there any similarities?
Experiment with ice: using two ice cubes, cover one with sawdust and leave the other uncovered for the same period of time (about one hour). Which one has melted more? This experiment could be expanded to include different kinds of coverings, different sized ice cubes, and different time periods. Predict, graph, and write up results.
Why did people settle in Maine? How did transportation technology affect settlement here? What countries did Maine trade with in the 19th century? How does that compare to the present? What does Maine produce now, as compared to the ships, lime, granite, etc. of the past? Do you think we are more or less interdependent now with other countries? What about with other parts of the United States?
Start a timeline for important events in Maine, and include the rise and decline of industries. How did these events change people’s daily lives at that time? What changes are occurring in people’s daily lives today?
Look at maps of Maine’s physical features. Are there other places like it in the United States or in the world? What activities did Maine’s physical features support? What activities do not work well in Maine because of its physical features?