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Harassed into leaving England and unhappy with their new home in Holland, the Pilgrims took a literal leap of faith in coming to the New World to begin a new colony where they could practice their particular brand of Puritanism away from constraints of the Anglican Church and the influence of Dutch culture. Landing outside of the jurisdiction of the Virginia colony, the fledgling Plymouth colony was able to survive due to a strategic alliance with the local Wampanoag Confederation of tribes, on whose land they had settled.
In this two day mini-unit, students will learn about the first years of the colony and the fateful decision of Massasoit, the Wampanoag leader, to formally ally with the colony – a decision he would later come to regret. They will also work with a primary source document seminal to the founding of the United States – the Mayflower Compact.
The materials – all of which have been battle-tested in the crucible of my own 8th grade classroom, include:
* 5 pages of informative and interesting text (the chapter “The Pilgrims” from my textbook “We Take Nothing by Conquest”
* an inquiry based study guide for the chapter to focus students on the main points and supporting details;
* a 25 slide PowerPoint with answers to the study guide for review, and including pictures and maps to stimulate discussion and enhance understanding;
* a 10 page Teacher’s Guide which provides day-by-day and step-by-step instructions how to use all of the materials;
* a Mayflower Compact primary source document translation activity; and
* a 10 multiple choice question unit quiz to assess student learning.
Answer keys for the study guide, Mayflower Compact activity and unit quiz are included in the Teacher’s Guide. Materials are provided as word documents and PDFs in one zip file.
This mini-unit is part of a complete and comprehensive unit
on Jamestown, Plymouth, and the 13 Colonies.
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