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Saints and Strangers

Delve into the history of early settlers in North America

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/David Bloomer

 

National Geographic Channel's Saints and Strangers tells the true and remarkable story of the Pilgrims' arrival on the Mayflower and the early events of Plymouth Colony. The movie depicts the complex relationship between the “saints” and “strangers”, the grueling challenges they faced to survive in a new land, and the shifting alliances between and among the settlers and Native American tribes.

Use the activities, maps, reference materials, and other educational resources in this collection to further explore the events and themes of this important time at the beginning of the United States of America that we know today.

 

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Tracing Democratic Ideas

Tracing Democratic Ideas  

Students analyze excerpts from historical documents, including the Mayflower Compact, The General Fundamentals, The Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, to identify evidence of democratic ideas.

Saints and Strangers: Push and Pull on the Way to Plymouth Colony

Saints and Strangers: Push and Pull on the Way to Plymouth Colony  

Students analyze the motivations for the Saints and Strangers to immigrate to North America by reading secondary sources and working in teams to determine the push and pull factors.

Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning

Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning  

Students analyze a primary source to learn about a Native American’s perspective on the arrival of the Pilgrims and discuss differing viewpoints about the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


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Explorers of the Americas

Explorers of the Americas  

Students discuss factors that motivate exploration and some consequences of early exploration of the Americas. Then they each research one early explorer of the Americas and present their findings. 

Hudson River: A Good Place for a Settlement

Hudson River: A Good Place for a Settlement  

Students watch videos and analyze maps describing human settlement patterns in the Hudson Valley region, interactions between Dutch Europeans and Native Americans, and the natural landscape.

Hudson River: Land Rights and Conflict

Hudson River: Land Rights and Conflict  

Students watch videos, analyze maps, and investigate the history of land transfer and conflict between the Dutch and Native Americans to understand the groups’ different ideas about land rights and “homeland.”


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Sailing Through History

Sailing Through History  

Students compare objects that would have been aboard a 17th century ship with modern counterparts and match each object to its correct time period. They describe conditions aboard a 17th century ship and a ship today.

Time Period Clues

Time Period Clues  

Students look at pictures of everyday items from different American time periods and place them on a timeline.

Trade in the 1600s

Trade in the 1600s  

Students look at pictures of material goods from two world regions—Eastern North America and Western Europe—and simulate 17th century trade by moving goods across the Atlantic Ocean.

Crossing the Atlantic: Then and Now

Crossing the Atlantic: Then and Now  

Students use a map to compare and contrast transatlantic travel during colonial times and today, including changes in travel time and comfort.

The Mayflower's Atlantic Crossing

The Mayflower's Atlantic Crossing  

Students research how the Gulf Stream affected the 1620 Mayflower voyage and produce a Museum Box to showcase their findings.


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Maps