Lesson 3: The Middle and Northern Colonies


Activity 1: The Mayflower Compact

Materials: Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa, printer*, stapler*
Before they came ashore, the men aboard the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact, a document written by William Bradford outlining the goals for the colony and affirming each man's commitment to working together for the colony's good. Take a moment to reread the Mayflower Compact on page 7 of Great Colonial Projects You Can Build Yourself! before choosing an option to complete for this activity.

In Option 1, you'll use a Web 2.0 tool to create a word cloud from the Mayflower Compact and complete an activity page about your findings. If you complete this option, be sure to talk to a parent first since it involves online activity.

In Option 2, you'll work with a family member or friend to create your own Compact, creating a statement of purpose for your family or friendship and stating your intentions for working well together in the future.

Choose the option that you find most appealing.
In this activity, your child will explore the Mayflower Compact in detail. In Option 1, he will use a word cloud generator Web 2.0 tool to create a word cloud of the document and analyze it. This option requires use of the Internet, so parental supervision is recommended. In Option 2, he will work with a friend or family member to create a compact of his own. This option may be more appealing to students who prefer to work in an active, social environment. You can allow your child to choose the option that appeals to him, but you may wish to make suggestions.

Option 1: Mayflower Compact Word Cloud

Historical documents can be difficult to read. Often, they are written in an antiquated way and can contain so much information that it's hard to figure out what's important and what is not. A word cloud can be one helpful way to begin your analysis of a historical document. Word clouds highlight key words from a selection of text and show words that appear most frequently as larger or bolder than words that appear less frequently. This visual representation of text can make it a bit easier to start thinking about themes or concepts that come up frequently within a passage of text.

In this activity, you'll make a word cloud based on the Mayflower Compact. Before you begin, be sure you have read over the document and answered the first question on the "Mayflower Compact Word Cloud" page.
Web Link
Web Link
In this activity, your child will create a word cloud based on the Mayflower Compact and analyze the document with the help of the word cloud. Refer to the answer key for Option 2 for information on the contents of the Compact.

Option 2: Your Own Compact

The Mayflower Compact stated the purpose of the Mayflower voyage and affirmed the commitment of the men who signed it to undertaking specific activities that would support the colony they were creating. In this activity, you'll use the "Our Compact" page to review the Mayflower Compact and then to create a compact of your own with a friend or family member. (If you don't have enough room on the page to write out your compact, use a separate sheet of paper or type your document on the computer.)
Student Activity Page
Use the following sample answers to review your child's activity.
  1. The Mayflower voyage was undertaken to create a colony in the northern part of what was known then as Virginia for the glory of God, the advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of their king and country.
  2. The men who signed the Mayflower Compact agreed to create a "civill body politick" to create order and further their goals. They agreed to work together to enact laws and create whatever constitutions, ordinances, and offices as might be necessary for the good of the colony. They all agreed to promise their "due submission and obedience" to these governmental measures.
  3. Answers will vary.

Activity 2: Founding the 13 Colonies

The 13 original British colonies were founded at different times, by different groups of people, and for different purposes. In this activity, you'll review a table showing the reasons behind the founding of each colony and the significant people and dates of its early history. (The table is located on the first and second "Founding the 13 Colonies" pages.) You'll want to keep this table handy throughout the unit and review it regularly since some of the information it contains will appear on your unit test. (You should focus more on the reasons for the founding of each colony and the significant people involved — specific dates will not figure prominently on the unit test.)
After reviewing the table, complete the diagram on the third "Founding the 13 Colonies" page showing some similarities and differences between the colonies founded for profit and those founded for religious freedoms. For example, you might write down where the colonists came from, where they settled geographically (were the religious colonies mostly in the south? in the north?), what kinds of economies the colonies in each category had (mostly agricultural? trade-based? manufacturing?), or other similarities and differences that you can glean.
In this activity, your child will review a table with information about each of the thirteen British colonies and then fill in a Venn Diagram showing the similarities and differences between colonies founded for different reasons. Your child may mention that the religious colonies tended to be founded in the northeast, to have religious leaders, and to focus on shipping and trade for income while the profit-oriented colonies tended to be further south, to have military leaders or business leaders, and to focus on agriculture. All colonies were primarily founded by British citizens seeking a new life, all had to adapt to local climates, all had to address relationships with native populations.