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Lesson Plans

Parents and educators, check out these lesson plans for ideas on how to engage students in learning about primary sources and documenting their experiences for the future.

  • Lessons incorporate creative projects, are compatible with distance learning, and align with Maine Learning Results.
  • Completed projects can be contributed to a Maine Contemporary Archives site to share with your community.
  • The photos, artwork, sound recordings, writing, and interviews that your students create today will become the historical record of tomorrow.

Do you have your own lesson plans to share, ideas for projects, or feedback about our resources? Please get in touch. We also welcome contributions of other materials you and your students have created over the past year.

Where do primary sources come from? This lesson will have students document an aspect of their COVID-19 experience in the form of a social media post, donate it to their community archive, and then think about how that resource will inform people…

This lesson is also available as a self-guided learning activity: Creating Primary Sources

What can a portrait tell us about a person, their experiences, and the world they live in? In this lesson, students will learn strategies for engaging with a portrait by identifying its elements and uncovering its layers of meaning. Students will…

This lesson is also available as a self-guided learning activity: Exploring Portraits

Why study sound? And who studies sound? Historians, geographers, scientists, conservationists, and architects do. Historians think about how the past sounded. Geographers consider how sounds define a sense of place. Scientists and conservationists…

This lesson is also available as a self-guided learning activity: Recording Soundscapes

How was your COVID-19 experience? The pandemic changed our lives in many ways. In this project, students will reflect on their own experience of the pandemic and interview three other people to learn what the pandemic was like for them. Students can…

This lesson is also available as a self-guided learning activity: Conducting Interviews

What can an old photograph tell us about history? Plenty! Photographs hold a wealth of information about what life was like in the past. In this lesson, students must act like sleuths and uncover the clues!Photographs can be “read” just like any…

This lesson is also available as a self-guided learning activity: Reading Photographs


For additional resources, visit our learning activities page.