Coming of Age in America

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Granting elective and/or history credit through an extended learning opportunity for low income or high risk youth.

Program Description:

  • This in-depth look at historical Maine life uses role-play and experiential learning in small groups to explore concepts in U.S. history, Maine history, civic involvement, and ethical decision-making.
  • The program is designed to serve students at risk for dropping out of high school. It offers a high level of social interaction and opportunities for improving speaking and listening skills.
  • The program has 7 units that span more than 350 years of history.
  • Each unit takes 65 hours to complete. Students must participate in 50 hours or more  for successful completion of the unit.
  • Coming of Age in America is designed to be used to supplement the classroom experience in a non-school setting.


Role-play Improves:

  • flexibility of thinking and the ability to assess differing perspectives
  • effectiveness in oral communication
  • questioning and creative problem-solving
  • the capacity to learn more effectively

(Summarized from The Art of Play, Blatner and Blatner, 1997)


This Extended Learning Opportunity addresses these

Maine Learning Results:

  • Students analyze and criticize varying interpretations of historic people, issues, and events.
  • Students analyze the constitutional principles and the roles of the citizen and the government in major laws or cases.
  • Students understand political and civic aspects of unity and diversity in Maine and the United States including Maine Native Americans.
  • Students understand major enduring themes in Maine and U.S. history.
  • Students make simulated decisions related to Maine or U.S. history by applying appropriate or relevant social studies knowledge and skills including ethics and reasoning.
  •  Students develop individual and collaborative decisions and plans by considering multiple points of view, weighing pros and cons, building on the ideas of others, and sharing information.


This Extended Learning Opportunity addresses these

Common Core Learning Standards

  • Students analyze how and why the individual develops and interacts over the course of the study unit.
  • Students participate in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners building on each others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • Students evaluate the speaker’s point of view through use of evidence, reasoning, and rhetoric.