Monday, October 7, 2013

Summer/Fall Series: 50 States - Maine


From lobsters to toothpicks, Maine has put its name on the map.  Despite its most northeastern location of any state in the U.S., Maine is rich with history, fishing, and forested land.  On March 15, 1820, Maine became the 23rd state in the Union.  The original capital was Portland, but it was changed to Augusta in 1832.  Maine is the 39th largest state.  It covers more than 35,000 square miles, over 22.5 million acres of land.  More than 42% of the state is covered in state and national parks.

Folks who live in Maine are called Mainers, and some who were born there include Milton Bradley, the owner and creator of Milton Bradley, Co.; Patrick Dempsey, an actor who played the role of Robert in the movie, Enchanted; Stephen King, horror author; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote "Paul Revere's Ride" among other poems, as well as many U.S. representatives and other writers.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's house can be visited as it is now a museum.  Stephen King's house cannot.  There are many state parks in Maine as mentioned above, including Acadia National Park.  The coastline is dotted with many lighthouses, some of which are Portland Head Light, Pemaquid Point Light, and Portland Breakwater Light.  The last surviving signal tower in the United States is Portland Observatory.  Maine has a desert; it is a 40-acre portion of land covered with glacial silt.  There are ski resorts such as Sunday River and old decommissioned forts such as Fort Knox.  Fort Western is an old colonial outpost that can be toured.  Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is the last active Shaker community and can be visited.

Maine's motto is Dirigo, which means "I lead."  It saw itself as a guide for the people, hence the motto.  The nickname is the Pine Tree State for the many pines that fill its forests.  The state tree-the Eastern white pine-was used for ships' masts.  The state flower is not actually a flower: the white pine cone and tassel.  Another of Maine's nicknames is the Lumber State.  Its abundance of forests allows for the manufacturing of many paper products.  Maine also produces 90% of the country's toothpicks.

Maine is an important fishing state.  Almost 90% of the country's lobster is caught off the coast of Maine.  It is also an important state for potato farming, shipbuilding, electronics, and tourism.

The state animal is the moose.
Maine is the only state in the U.S. with only one syllable.  Its abbreviation is ME.  Try to keep the abbreviations straight for the states that start with M.  There are quite a few of them.

The state bird is the Black-capped chickadee, and the state insect is the honeybee.  What other states have the honeybee as their state insect?  The state fish is the Landlocked salmon.

Maine's state flag was adopted in 1909.

Included on the flag is Maine's state seal which shows a farmer with his scythe and a sailor leaning on an anchor who are both flanking a shield which has a pine tree and a moose beside a blue stream.  A yellow star, the Polar Star, sits atop the shield while the state motto, "Dirigo," is printed on a red banner and "Maine" is printed on a blue banner below the shield.

Visit the Maine Kids page for puzzles, recipes using food found in Maine, coloring pages, and a license plate decoding game.

Play some Maine recycling games.
The following is a list of resources about Maine or things found in Maine from  DISCLAIMER: I am an affiliate with  If you purchase items through my blog, I will receive a commission.

409566: The Great State of Maine Activity Book, Revised Edition
The Great State of Maine Activity Book, Revised Edition
By Jane Petrlik Smolik / Midrun Press

With over 90 pages of answers to "Are we there yet?" this activity book is stuffed with enough puzzles to keep children busy! Inside, you'll find crosswords, logic games, secret codes, mazes, and word puzzles. You'll also find fun facts, activities, and games all about life in Maine from Kittery to Fort Kent. Enjoy puzzles about Augusta, Bar Harbor, Freeport, The "Downeaster", Puffins, Ogunquit, Moose, Lobsters, Lighthouses, Sugarloaf, Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, festivals, famous Mariners, mapping Maine, Moosehead and Sebago Lakes, and more! Recommended for ages 8 to 12.

404128: The Names of Maine: How Maine Places Got Their Names and What They Mean The Names of Maine: How Maine Places Got Their Names and What They Mean
By Brian McCauley / Acadia Press

Discover the origin and meaning of the names of over 1,000 cities, towns, mountains, rivers, lakes, bays, and islands, listed alphabetically. Whether you are a visitor to Maine or live there, you will find this information fascinating.

22723DF: Maine State History Lapbook - PDF Download [Download]
Maine State History Lapbook - PDF Download [Download]
By Cyndi Kinney & Judy Trout / Knowledge Box Central

Get to know your home state! Comprehensive state history lapbook resources from Knowledge Box Central are designed so that children of all ages can study together. Explore state symbols, songs and landmarks, famous people, geographical regions, timelines of historical events, and more. The included state-specific study guide provides background information, history, and other factual information; this study guide is the same for both lapbook (Grades K-8) and lapbook journal (Grades 6-12) students, so that the parent only needs to go over the information once.
This lapbook includes a list of all the supplies needed if following the included base guide. Blackline masters are provided for students to cut out and paste into their lapbook, while a photo of a finished lapbook provides a visual example. This Lapbook is structured for use with K-8th Grade Students.

395418: Native American Place Names of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont Native American Place Names of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont
By R.A. Douglas-Lithgow / Applewood Books

This dictionary of Native American places was originally published in 1909. Arranged alphabetically by Native American name, this reference work gives insight into the name origins of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont cities, towns, rivers, streams, lakes and other locales. 116 pages, softcover.

739665: Lighthouses of Maine
Lighthouses of Maine
By Bruce Roberts & Ray Jones / Globe Pequot

A winning combination of practical travel information, stunning color photographs, and rich maritime history makes Lighthouses of Maine your essential guide to maritime beacons in the Pine Tree State. From Whitlocks Mill Light near the St. Croix river to Whaleback Ledge Light near Portsmouth Harbor, the fifty lights included here are presented in geographical order. Take this handy little guide with you on your travels, and keep it as a picture-perfect souvenir of your trip to Maine.
Inside you will find:

  • detailed descriptions of each lighthouse
  • Complete travel information, including driving directions and GPS coordinates
  • historical background notes
  • quick summaries of key information, such as date established, height of tower, and type of lens
  • fifty-six beautiful full-color photographs
  • a glossary of important terms
  • helpful icons indicating historic interest, scenic quality, accessibility and amenities

  • 551506: Maine Birds Maine Birds
    By Globe Pequot

    A must-have reference guide for beginners and experts alike. Whether you're on a nature hike or in your own backyard, you'll want to take along a copy of this indispensable guide. This series is an introduction to common plants and animals and natural phenomena. Each pocket-sized, folding guide highlights up to 150 species and most feature a map highlighting prominent sanctuaries and outstanding natural attractions. Each is laminated for durability. (31/2 x 81/4 folded, opens to 22 x 81/4, color illustrations, map)

    232507: A Penny for a Hundred A Penny for a Hundred
    By Ethel Pochocki / Bethlehem Books

    Farm life in Aroostook County, Maine, is much the same year after year--but 1944 is different. When German POWs come to help Clare and her family bring in the crops, she befriends Peter. She's determined to make his Christmas away from home special, but she never expects to receive a precious gift in return. Recommended for ages 5 to 9.

    26274: One Morning in Maine
    One Morning in Maine
    By Robert McCloskey / Penguin Putnam Inc.

    One morning in Maine, Sal woke up. She peeked over the top of the covers. The bright sunlight made her blink, so she pulled the covers up and was just about to go back to sleep when she remembered "today is the day I am going to Buck's Harbor with my father!"
    As Sal brushes her teeth she notices something strange. One of her teeth is loose! Her first loose tooth! When the tooth falls out, she'll be able to put it under her pillow and make a wish. But while Sal digs for clams with Dad, her loose tooth becomes a lost tooth. How can she make her wish now? Luckily an exciting trip to Buck's Harbor with Dad and baby Jane helps make Sal's wish come true.
    In this heartwarming story, Robert McCloskey beautifully conveys life's everyday pleasures and his intimate knowledge and deep appreciation of the Maine islands. Recommended for ages 3 to 8. A 1953 Caldecott Honor book.

    943020: Hello Maine! Hello Maine!
    By Martha Day Zschock / Applewood Books

    Tag along after a Moose and its calf as they explore Maine. Cute illustrations and fun rhymes highlight the uniqueness of the city with classic and kid-friendly examples. Great for reading before a trip or for children already familiar with the state! 16 boardbook pages. Ages 2 & up. 6" x 6".

    772924: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow / Sterling Publishing

    Beautiful, commissioned illustrations accompany a number of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's most beloved poems. A fantastic way to introduce children to poetry, the included vocabulary and context notes help make the art form more accessible to beginners. A biography of the poet is also provided at the beginning of the book. Ages 8 & up. 48 pages, hardcover.

    4795X: The Song of Hiawatha The Song of Hiawatha
    By Henry Wasworth Longfellow / Dover Publications

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1855 classic is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature, combining romance and idealism in an idyllic natural setting.

    56125: Paul Revere"s Ride Paul Revere's Ride
    By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ted Rand / Puffin Books

    Here is one of the most stirring poems in American Literature, brought vividly to life in this breathtaking new edition by a master of picture-book illustration. Ted Rand's moonlit vision captures the swift, rhythmic gait of Longfellow's words and the drama of Revere's brave ride as he gallops from town to farm, sounding the call to rise and arm against the British. The story unfolds in memorable pictorial images: Revere's anxious wait on the shore, the two lights in the belfry of the Old North Church, Concord Bridge in the early morning hours. The mixture of history, art, and poetry results in a book as gorgeous to behold as its message is inspiring to all who love freedom. Recommended for ages 6 to 9.

    553558: Acadia National Park Wildlife Acadia National Park Wildlife
    By Independent Publishers Group