Settling the Plymouth Colony
by Judie Haynes
Introduce the concepts of religious freedom and self-government with this social studies unit on the Plymouth Colony designed for Intermediate ESL students in grades 3-8.
The study of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower Compact, and the settlement of Plymouth is an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of religious freedom and self-government with second language learners.
Highlight the importance of immigration in the history of the United States and link this information to students' own experiences. Help your students see the Pilgrims as the first immigrants. Provide "hands-on" activities which engage your ELLS in learning. Graphic organizers are important to make information comprehensible to second language learners.
The Founding of the Plymouth Colony
Advanced beginners-Intermediate Grades 4-8
Content Concepts and Skills
Vocabulary for colonization; social studies concepts of immigration, self- government and religious freedom
Pilgrim, Mayflower, passenger, freedom, Compact, pray, king, Native Americans, tools, equal, rules, warriors, harvest, self-government, religious freedom. Vocabulary will vary according to grade and English language level.
Materials or Resources
- The Explore Series: Settling the English Colonies; Ballard & Tighe, Brea, CA: 1995.
- Colonial America by Elaine Keeley; Teacher Designed Learning, Inc. Fountain Valley, CA: 1992;
- Puritans & Pilgrims by Jane Pofahl; T.S. Denison & Company, Inc. Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1994
- Life as a Colonist by Bob Rybak; Frank Schaeffer Publications, Torrance, CA, 1994
- Look for library books with simple pictures in it about the Pilgrims' voyage on the Mayflower and the founding of the Plymouth Colony. If the text is too difficult, tell the story using the pictures in the book. Review the story several times. Emphasize the reasons the Pilgrims left England, the hardships of the voyage, and the terrible first winter.
- Students should review any unfamiliar vocabulary. Have them make flashcards, if necessary.
- You may want students in Grades 3-4 to read an easier text. Download our PDF file Thanksgiving Story.
The Voyage of the Mayflower
- Brainstorm important facts about the Mayflower as a group and have students sequence these facts. You may wish to use Scholastic's online Voyage of the Mayflower. Choose information that is at your students' language learning level.
- Have students compare traveling today with a voyage on the Mayflower. Download the PDF file Mayflower Word Bank and cut the sentences into strips. Distribute the strips to your students. Draw a large Venn Diagram and label it "Traveling in 2006" and "Traveling on the Mayflower." Have students take turns putting their sentences in the correct place. More advanced students can do this activity individually. You can have students make a Venn diagram at Read,Write, Thinkand ask them to make the Venn diagram in pairs.
- Introduce the Mayflower Compact to students in Grades 4-8. To better understand this document, have classes write an E.S.L. Compact of rules for getting along with each other in school.
Founding the Plymouth Colony
Links for Thanksgiving
Here are additional links for a Thanksgiving unit.
© 1998-2009 Judie Haynes, www.everythingESL.net