March 15 marks Statehood Day, which according to State statute is intended to “commemorate the admission of Maine as a state into the United States of America and the ideals and wisdom of those men and women who have formed Maine’s history and traditions.”
Maine schools are urged to observe the day and the Maine Historical Society provides a number of online resources to support classroom learning and celebrations, among them:
- An online exhibit, To Separate or Not to Separate, That is the Question, by Candace Kanes.
- Maine History Online, which provides information and primary sources to trace the events leading up to Maine’s official separation from Massachusetts in 1820 in the 1775-1820 Tension, War & Separation section and a focus on the years after statehood in the 1820-1850 A New State & Prosperity section.
- In the “Themes” section of Maine History Online, the work of William King (Maine’s first governor) is highlighted under Leaders & Causes. Peopling Maine provides a snapshot of Maine’s people.
- Finding Katahdin: An Online Exploration of Maine’s Past includes primary sources and lesson plans. Chapter 4, From Revolution to Statehood, includes a collection of primary sources and lesson plans suitable for middle and high school classrooms.
Additionally, the Osher Map Library of the University of Southern Maine provides several lesson plans designed for middle school students yet adaptable for elementary and high school students. Lessons are available for download and include such topics as Maine Statehood and Comparing Maps of Maine. The online exhibition, Printed Maps of the District and State of Maine 1793-1860, traces the growth of Maine from the first printed map in 1793 depicting five counties to the formation of 16 in 1860.