TeacherVision - Lesson Plans, Printables and more Free Trial  Member Benefits  Sign In    
Click Here
Mar 4, 2015
We have merged TeacherVision's international content onto one website. Educators around the world can use TeacherVision.com to browse an extensive library of teaching materials. You can still find relevant content for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our Educators' Calendars.  [x] CLOSE
History > American Colonies (103 resources)

Of Plymouth Plantation

by William Bradford

Page 1 of 2

Of Plymouth Plantation

William Bradford wrote Of Plymouth Plantation from 1630-1650, recounting the early days of the Plymouth Colony. The narrative was not published until 1865. We read it today to gain insight about the early days of our nation, and to learn about Puritan Plain Style, Bradford's style of writing. This narrative is a good resource to discuss when studying American history and Thanksgiving.

Reading Activities
Relevant Documents
Internet Resources
Related Texts

Reading Activities

Help Wanted: Leader
Have students write a classified ad seeking a governor for the Pilgrims, a person who can lead people in the most adverse situations. After students read Of Plymouth Plantation, ask them how they would change the job description.
Would your students want such a job? Do they think Bradford knew what he was getting into? Why would he have risked leading over 100 people to the unknown shores of North America?

Review Bradford's Biography
Find a number of sources on William Bradford, from encyclopedias to textbooks to Websites, preferably with different perspectives. Get students into groups, giving each group one reference. Ask the groups to read the reference and then answer the following questions. Encourage students to find quotes from the texts to support their answers.

  1. How is Bradford portrayed in this reference?
  2. What kind of man do you think William Bradford was?
  3. Do you think Bradford was successful? Why or why not?
After students have read the texts and answered the questions, ask each group to present an overview of their reference (title, author, summary), answers to questions, and quotes from the text. Discuss why different groups may have come up with differing opinions.
Here is brief biography of Bradford:
William Bradford (1590-1657) was elected governor of the Plymouth Colony after the death of the previous governor, John Carver. Born in Yorkshire, England, Bradford joined a group of Puritan extremists, who called themselves Separatists, and moved to Holland with them to escape religious persecution in England. In 1620, Bradford and others boarded the Mayflower with the intent to settle in Virginia. Bradford maintained friendly relations with area natives because the Pilgrims could not have survived without their help. But certainly the customs and beliefs of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag differed.

The Pilgrims indebted themselves to a group of Englishmen known as "merchant adventurers." The "merchant adventurers" agreed to risk their money, and the Pilgrims agreed to invest their personal labor for seven years. Bradford insisted that the Pilgrims meet their obligations to the investors, and in 1627, he and seven others bought out the merchants. Although more lenient than others about varying religious beliefs, he was responsible for keeping Plymouth independent of the Massachusetts Bay colony. He wrote Of Plymouth Plantation over a twenty-year period, 1630-1650, but it was not published in its entirety until 1865. Of Plymouth Plantation was written in Puritan Plain Style which accounts for its simple language.

What Do You Think of Pilgrims? Before and After Reading Posters
Poster 1: Prior to reading of Plymouth Plantation, on the top of a large piece of butcher paper write "Before Reading" and "After Reading," with a line down the center of the paper. Give students 3-5 minutes to write down everything they think they know about Pilgrims, and early Plymouth. After they are done, make a list of their ideas below the heading "Before Reading." Display the poster in your classroom. After they have read Of Plymouth Plantation, students will generate another list, refuting or agreeing with their original notions about Pilgrims. That information will be written below the heading "After Reading."

Poster 2: On the top of a large piece of butcher paper write "Before Reading" and "After Reading," with a line down the center of the paper. Give students 3-5 minutes to write a description of the journey the Pilgrims took to the New World. What did the Pilgrims eat? How did they pass time on the ship? What was the journey itself like? Have any of the students been in a small vessel in open seas? After they have read Of Plymouth Plantation, students will generate another list, refuting or agreeing with their original notions about Pilgrims' journey. That information will be written below the heading "After Reading."

Keep posters up in your classroom for the entire time you are reading Of Plymouth Plantation.

Modes of Discourse
Prose is often considered to have four types of discourse: narration, description, exposition, and persuasion. Most prose writers use all four modes.

  • Narration—a statement of events, especially in chronological order, that tells a story.
  • Description—a telling of a tale that speaks to the five senses, creating pictures with words.
  • Exposition—writing that is primarily intended to convey information, to explain, or to give instruction.
  • Persuasion—writing that is meant to convince readers that a certain opinion is correct.
Bring in a number of newspapers, magazines, and books. Ask students to read through a few pages and decide which modes of discourse are used. After reading Of Plymouth Plantation, decide which modes Bradford used.

Relevant Documents

 Previous   1   2   Next 

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!
Start Trial


Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

Handwashing Awareness
Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Take Our Survey!
Help us improve TeacherVision by taking our brief survey. Thank you for your input!

Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.