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Activity Overview

Have students keep track of a timeline of up to ten events from Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Using the narrative, along with their history textbooks or online resources, have them plug in the dates of the major events, including the history of the Puritans before their voyage, the voyage, their first winter, their interactions with the Native Americans, etc. See the following timeline example below:

Example Of Plymouth Plantation Timeline

July 1608

The Separatist movement decides to move to Leiden (near Amsterdam) in Holland.

September 1620

After departing from Holland in July for Southampton, England, the group boards the Mayflower, and sails for the New World.

November 1620

The Pilgrims spot land, drop anchor, and sign the Mayflower Compact.

December 1620

The Pilgrims set foot in Plymouth, Massachusetts. An illness hits the Pilgrim group, and by March, over half of the group had died from the illness, starvation, and the elements. Bradford’s wife Dorothy May dies aboard the Mayflower.

March 1621

The Pilgrims negotiate with the Nauset tribe, establishing a peace treaty and later setting up trade relations.

October 1621

The Pilgrims have the first “Thanksgiving” with Massasoit and his men.

August 1623

William Bradford marries his second wife, Alice Southworth, a widow.

November 1623

The first official Thanksgiving is declared by Governor William Bradford, as the Pilgrims celebrated the arrival of more people and supplies that began to arrive in July.

March 1629

A royal charter for Massachusetts Bay Colony is issued. Plimoth Plantation and the Pilgrim settlement is later absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

September 1638

The Pequot War with the colonists ends in a treaty.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Timelines

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/3] Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/9] Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and concepts.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a timeline that illustrates ten major events in Of Plymouth Plantation.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Add additional cells to the timeline as needed.
  3. In the title of each cell, note the major event.
  4. In each description box, describe the event.
  5. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Create a timeline of important events and people, and explain their significance. Make sure the dates are correct, and the Photos for Class pictures are historically accurate or significant.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Events and Dates
The events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. The dates provided are correct.
Most of the events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. Most of the dates provided are correct.
Some of the events chosen for the timeline are significant. There may be missing events, or events that are irrelevant. Too many dates may be incorrect.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are accurate and provide insight into the significance of the events.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are mostly accurate and attempt to provide insight into the significance of the events.
There are several glaring inaccuracies in the explanations or descriptions of the events. There may be little or no insight int the significance of the events, or the information provided may be too limited or missing.
English Conventions
There are 0-2 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 3-4 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 5 or more mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.

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