These activities for Working the Bay were updated in late 2008 and early 2009, along with the Learning Results.
Ideas to try....
Education and Jobs
Learn more about the education system in the nineteenth century. How did it prepare young people for work, or did it? How were job skills acquired for the occupations available then, as compared to today? What was the state of workplace safety then? What regulations exist now, and when were they implemented?
Tourism is a major industry in Maine today. Do research into how Maine encourages tourism, and how tourism affects jobs in the state.
English Language Arts
The material in Working the Bay presents opportunities for follow-up reading, writing, and research projects. For example, use a trade or industry to serve as a background for different kinds of writing—fictional stories, non-fiction reports, explanations of processes bringing in the chemical, biological and ecological elements, etc. Focus on a specific island, town, or city in Maine. Use research sources, such as census records, to learn about people’s occupations there in the past.
Science, Technology, and Math
Use facts and figures on lumber distribution, lime production, fisheries, etc. to create comparative charts and graphs. Compare measurement units for different products.
Working the Bay presents a lot of information on natural resources. As Maine’s resources were tapped for various kinds of work, what happened to the environment? What was the impact on health of Maine citizens? Did technology help or hinder health in the community? Learn more about healthcare and occupational hazards.
A lot of science is involved in industry—the physics of building an efficient and seaworthy ship, the ecology of the fisheries, the chemical changes in lime production. These can be expanded into more in-depth projects, model development, rock collection and analysis, etc. The whole subject of the impact of work on the natural environment is an important one with many opportunities for research.
Industrialization had a great impact on Maine’s trades and industries. Choose one technological advance—the railroad, for example—and research its effects on work around Penobscot Bay in the nineteenth century. This could include economic factors and national and international policies that affected production, export, and import.
Try a classroom simulation of Maine trade, with students acting as makers or sellers of products such as lumber, ice, fish, coal, leather, etc.; shippers of these goods (who need to charge for that service); and buyers of the goods in different ports, such as Buenos Aires, New York, Boston, Liverpool, Havana, etc. Learn how trading networks of one product overlap with those of other products. Consider issues of scarcity and glut in small and large ports, along with supply and demand.
Visual and Performing Arts
Some art forms are related to the kinds of work people did around Penobscot Bay in the past: woodworking, stonework, ship models, and hand-made goods all have artistic elements. Why do people engage in these activities that are no longer necessary as occupations? How have hobbies developed from work skills needed in the past?