Ideas for Use in the Classroom

Introduce the lesson by summarizing the traditional tale of Thanksgiving, or of cooperation and friendship between Native Americans and English colonists. Show students the maps of Wampanoag Territory and the New England colonies in 1677, and have them report out how the area changed after the English colonists arrived.

Explain that the Wampanoag are part of the Algonquin people and among the first of the Native Americans to encounter those colonists. Therefore, the interaction between them was the first attempt of both groups to live together peacefully, and for a while, they succeeded.

Show the map “Growth of Colonial Settlement,” displaying it next to the first two maps, to show historical order. Introduce the idea of using maps as a storytelling device. As a class, outline the story of the European/Native American interaction in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, using information from the maps. Then have students state their predictions of what happened between the Wampanoag and the colonists that led to colonial expansion.

Were their predictions correct? Use the articles below to explain the conflicts that took place between the Wampanoag and the colonists and that led to King Philip’s War. Describe the major events of the conflict, pointing out the locations in the conflicts and noting the range of territory involved.


wide collection of cultures and people speaking a common language group, originally native to what is now northeastern and central Canada and the United States.

colonial expansion

spread of a foreign authority over other territories, usually through the establishment of settlement communities.


early settler of Plimouth Colony, Massachusetts.


member of a strict Protestant religious and political group that originated in England in the 1500s.


people and culture native to what are now the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.