After the Mayflower: We Shall Remain

WEB LESSON & VIDEO This online episode of the PBS documentary We Shall Remain looks at the early colonial settlement from the Native American perspective. The thread of differing spiritual understandings of the world and man's place in it recur. Discussion questions, maps and classroom activities supplement the video.

Spanish Missions of California - Primary Source Set

PRIMARY SOURCES & TEACHING GUIDE Developed by Franky Abbott for the Digital Public Library of America, this is a selection of 15 primary sources from the Spanish mission era with a teaching guide. The activities using the sources provide support for literature and textbook based coverage of the topic while helping students gain skills in thinking like a historian. Grades 4-12

Religion and the American Revolution

WEB LESSON In this New York University lesson students evaluate various colonial documents to understand the minds of the Revolutionary generation to consider the place of religion in the social and political life of the colonists. change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligation. MS - HS

The Great Awakening

WEB LESSON The organizing question of this Stanford Reading Like a Historian lesson is "Why was George Whitefield So Popular?" Students read several selected and edited sources to determine their answer. MS

Colonizing the Bay

WEB LESSON This lesson focuses on John Winthrop's historic "Model of Christian Charity" sermon which is often referred to by its "City on a Hill" metaphor. Through a close reading of this admittedly difficult text, students will learn how it illuminates the beliefs, goals, and programs of the Puritans. The sermon sought to inspire and to motivate the Puritans by pointing out the distance they had to travel between an ideal community and their real-world situation. MS - HS

John Winthrop and the Puritans

WEB LESSON In this Ohio State University published lesson, students read and interpret two of Governor John Winthrop's documents: Reasons for the Plantation in New England, and A Model of Christian Charity. Using the Reasons for the Plantation...document, students analyze the nine reasons Puritans had for immigrating to New England, and the 10 objections given against the Plantation of the Puritans. Using only the last two paragraphs of A Model of Christian Charity, students and teacher discuss the meaning of John Winthrop's message to the Puritans. MS

First Great Awakening

WEB LESSON A series of evangelical religious revivals swept across colonial America in the mid 18th century. Known as the First Great Awakening, this movement was characterized by emotional religious conversions from a state of sin to a "new birth" and by dramatic and powerful preaching by itinerant preachers in front of crowds of thousands, often outdoors. The First Great Awakening also marked a new effort by European colonialists to reach out to Native Americans and African-Americans. By examining primary documents from the time, this lesson will introduce students to the ideas, practices, and evangelical spirit of the First Great Awakening. MS - HS

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening in Colonial America

WEB LESSON This CRF Bill of Rights in Action article and lesson activity guides students to learn about and evaluate the importance of the First Great Awakening to the American Revolution. MS-HS

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson (1637)

WEB LESSON This lesson includes a video overview of Puritanism followed by a fascinating historiographic piece analyzing Puritan value, beliefs, and culture they brought with them from East Anglia in England. The last section, the Examination of Ann Hutchinson is a simulation or mock trial. Use The Trial of Anne Hutchinson to create an in-depth understanding of what may happen without religious liberty. HS

Understanding Primary Sources: The Mayflower Compact

WEB LESSON In this George Mason University lesson, students read and answer questions as they analyze the Mayflower Compact. They learn the concepts of civil body politic and covenant, and the importance of these concepts in American history.


WEB LESSON?PRIMARY RESOURCES Throughout history, people have given thanks - sometimes in joyful celebration, often in solemn, even prayerful, ceremony. The United States, over hundreds of years, has come to observe a national holiday for giving thanks: Thanksgiving. This set of primary resources from the Library of Congress contains images and documents that give a window into the history of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Teacher's Guide provides historical context and teaching suggestions. ELEM - MS

Puritan Massachusetts: Theocracy or Democracy?

WEB LESSON This CRF Bill of Rights in Action article and lesson provides a background reading on Puritan society and government. Using the information, students classify the characteristics about which they read as representing either theocratic or a democratic form of government. Students then answer the question in the title of the article based on evidence.

Freedom of Religion: Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy

WEB LESSON Written by Louisa Adams for the National First Ladies Library site, this activity guides students to access and read a series of websites, identify key beliefs of the Puritans and summarize the events that led to Anne Hutchinson's trial and banishment. MS HS

Freedom of Religion: Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy

WEB LESSON Written by Louisa Adams for the National First Ladies Library, this lesson uses a series of websites for content. Students review the sites to define terms and create understanding of Puritan beliefs. They then summarize the key events that led to Anne Hutchinson's trial and banishment for heresy. MS-HS

Early Development of Church and State in Colonial America

WEB LESSON & VIDEO "City on a Hill" In this lesson, students learn of the Puritans establishing the Massachusetts Colony under the direction of their leader, John Winthrop. Students will understand that while the colony was set up under democratic principles, democratic thought didn't extend to religion. When Anne Hutchison challenged this doctrine and began to preach the Bible as men were doing, the leaders stopped her and banished her from the colony. Working in small groups, students will research and develop mini-reports of past religious dissenters, examining their reasons and message, the risks they took, and the degree of success they obtained. The groups will present their findings to the class and compare their subject with the case of Anne Hutchinson. In an individual assignment, students will write an analysis paper or create a multimedia presentation comparing the experiences of these subjects to that of Anne Hutchinson and how any one of them experienced religious liberty. Grades 7-12

A Model of Christian Charity

WEB LESSON What did John Winthrop mean when, in his sermon "A Model of Christian Charity," he told his Puritan followers that their colony would be "as a city upon a hill"? In telling his followers that their colony would be "as a city upon a hill," Puritan leader John Winthrop was warning them about the cost of failure. This lesson offers a contrasting view by focusing on how Winthrop deploys the image in the sermon. It takes students through a step-by-step close reading of the paragraph that contains it. Designed to be done in a single period, the lesson assumes that the class has already covered the broad background of the religiously driven early seventeenth century migrations from England to the New World and the difference between the separatist Pilgrims and the reformist Puritans. MS HS

De Las Casas and the Conquistadors

WEB LESSON What arguments did Bartolome de Las Casas make in favor of more humane treatment of Native Americans as he exposed the atrocities of the Spanish conquistadors in Hispaniola? First contact experiences on Hispaniola included brutal interactions between the Spanish and the Native Americans. Conquistadors subjugated populations primarily to garner personal economic wealth, and Natives little understood the nature of the conquest. As early as 1522 Bartolome de Las Casas worked to denounce these activities on political, economic, moral, and religious grounds by chronicling the actions of the conquistadors for the Spanish court. The teacher's guide includes a background note, the text analysis with responses to the close reading questions, access to the interactive exercises, and the follow-up assignment. The student's version, an interactive PDF, contains all of the above except the responses to the close reading questions and the follow-up assignment.

Why did some European attempts to establish colonies in the New World fail?

WEB LESSON Some European attempts to colonize the New World failed not only because of physical hardships and deprivation but also because of cultural misunderstandings on the part of both the colonizers and the native inhabitants. Prior to British attempts to colonize the eastern coast of North America the Spanish worked to expand their presence up from Central America. In 1570 they founded the small colony of Ajacan on Chesapeake Bay in order to Christianize the local Indians. Why did it fail?

Roger Williams: America's First Baptist (Religious Freedom in Colonial New England: Part II)

VIDEO This short video lecture by Tom Richley places Roger Williams in the context of American history and values. He discusses the culture of religious conformity in the Massachusetts Colony and how Roger Williams thinking that leads him to become the first minister to challenge the authority and culture of Puritan society in New England.