For Field Trips and Class Visits, teachers are encouraged to choose topics that fit into their current curriculum:

  • Introduction to Maps
    • Grades K-2
    • This lesson uses both old and new maps to illustrate the different ways people can use and make maps. After a short presentation, students will complete Tino’s Map Book, in which they will make their own maps of familiar areas.
  • The World of the Middle Ages & Renaissance
    • Grades 3-5
    • This lesson uses maps made during the Middle Ages and Renaissance to illustrate the beliefs of Europeans about who and what resided in the distant parts of the earth. An accompanying activity, The Sea Monster Handbook, goes into detail about the sea monsters that Renaissance scholars and seafarers believed existed, and provides space for students to create their own sea monsters. An additional activity, The Dangers of Sea Exploration, uses a historic map of the known world as the base for a board game in which students must race to the Far East while avoiding entities that early seafarers feared.
  • Maps of the World – Geography & Globes Emphasis
    • Grades 3-5
    • This lesson uses five centuries of world maps to show the progression of geographical knowledge in the western world, as well as the advances in the making of maps and globes. Each student will construct a globe showing a fictional planet of their imaginations.
  • Maps of the World – Cartography & Western Worldview Emphasis
    • Grades 6-12
    • This lesson uses five centuries of world maps to show the progression of geographical knowledge in the western world, as well as the alterations in western worldviews. Each student will construct a copy of the 20-sided Dymaxion globe invented by R. Buckminster Fuller.
  • Portland History
    • Grades 3-12
    • This lesson investigates the destructions, resurrections, and transformations of Maine’s largest city in maps of Portland from the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the twentieth century. This visit theme includes a board game in which students must work together to save Portland from the infamous Captain Mowatt, while learning about the important people, buildings, and industries in ‘Falmouth’ during the Revolutionary War.
  • Maine Studies
    • Grades 3-12
    • Explore the changes in Maine from the time it was a district of Massachusetts valued largely for its lumber through its transformation into ‘Vacationland’. This visit theme includes a Maine State History trivia game.
  • Colonial New England
    • Grades 3-12
    • This lesson shows how the competitors for land in present day New England saw and mapped the landscape and its resources. This visit theme includes a Resources of New England game in which students collect the resources that native peoples and early settlers used to survive and prosper.
  • Transatlantic Travel
    • Grades 4-12
    • Before steamships, ocean journeys were dangerous, dirty, and miserable, but the great ocean liners of the late 1800s allowed people to cross the Atlantic in relative comfort and safety, uniting the “New World” with the “Old World” in the process. Learn about life on the celebrated ships of the steam age by examining postcards, photographs, maps, and other artifacts from the Morse Ocean Liner Collection.
  • Growth of the United States
    • Grades 5-12
    • This lesson explores the events of the United States’ westward expansion, including encroachment on Native American lands, major land purchases, mass migrations such as the Oregon Trail and California Gold Rush.

Because of the highly specialized nature of secondary curriculum, High School teachers are encouraged to work with OML educators to ensure that the primary sources used in the lesson fit well with the class material.

For large groups or groups with a flexible time frame, consider taking advantage of our Collaborative Programs with nearby educational institutions!