Deering Oaks, Portland’s Urban Oasis

Deering Oaks, Portland’s Urban Oasis

Deering Oaks Lesson

This lesson, designed for Middle School students, features a 3-part powerpoint illustrating the history of Deering Oaks through historical maps and images. The students use the information found in the presentation to complete an activity in which they create two maps of Deering Oaks, one mapping the Battle of Deering Oaks, and another mapping its history since its purchase from the Deering family.

This lesson is well-suited for social studies/ history classes. Used in conjuction with a visit to Deering Oaks, the lesson can provide a background in the history of one of Portland’s most remarkable locations, as well as a model for how to use maps to piece together history.

The Lesson

This lesson comes with two components: the presentation with script for the administrator and the activity materials with the answer sheet.

PDF The Presentation
Beginning with the Battle of Deering Oaks and ending with its transformation from private land into a public space, the presentation is a good way to present students with the history of the land we know as Deering Oaks.

PDF The Activity Materials
The activity materials provide two bases for maps, with instructions on the back for each. There is also a notes page that students should fill out during the presentation. If completely filled out, the students should have all of the information necessary to create the two maps. It may be necessary to go through the notes page with the students after the powerpoint to ensure each student has the correct information. Also included in the activity materials is a page of vignettes, small images to be cut out and pasted around the borders of the maps. This document includes a copy of the notes page with filled-in answers.



Special thanks to:

  • The teachers and students at King Middle School
  • Anne Pringle - President of Friends of Deering Oaks
  • Michael Michaud - Associate Engineer/ Archivist, DPS Engineering, City of Portland
  • Maine Historical Society
  • Portland Museum of Art
  • Maine Historic Preservation Commission
  • Friends of Deering Oaks
  • Yolanda Theunissen

OML Outreach Coordinators:

  • Renee Keul
  • Jamie Kane
  • Holly Hurd

Explore Other Lessons

Intro to Maps  Travel and Transportation  Maps of Portland  Travel and Tourism  Medieval Maps  Maine State History

Projections and Globemaking  Cartography & the Renaissance  Colonization of New England  Colonial South America  Colonial Worldview  Grim Side of Thematic Mapping

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