Mayflower Compact

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The lesson introduces students to the Mayflower Compact, which many historians believe is the precursor to the Declaration of Independence and the first document establishing democracy in the world.  The lesson includes a summary of the Pilgrims trip on the Mayflower from Europe to the New World as well.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to Colonial Times and Christopher Columbus.

Mayflower Compact Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Mayflower Compact
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

*Note: These lessons are PDF downloads. You will be directed to the download once you checkout. Clarendon Learning resources are FREE, we rely 100% on donations to operate our site. Thank you for your support!

Description

Provide your students with a basic introduction to the idea of democracy with this lesson about the Mayflower Compact.  Young students are often familiar with Pilgrims and have heard of the Mayflower, but know little about the political ramifications that went along with the Pilgrims’ journey.  Many historians believe the Mayflower Compact is the precursor to the Declaration of Independence and the first document establishing democracy in the world.  The lesson includes a summary of the Pilgrims trip on the Mayflower from Europe to the New World as well.  The lesson can be used in conjunction with other lessons related to Colonial Times and Christopher Columbus.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students for responses: Tell some reasons people choose to leave their home country and move to another country.
  2. Display students’ responses. Ask if any of the reasons are related to the Pilgrims who came to America in the 1600s.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students what would be important for settling a new territory.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Guide the discussion to rules and laws.  Introduce the Mayflower Compact.
  5. Distribute Mayflower Compact content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Encourage students to read the Compact carefully and to think about it using English of today.  (Distribute dictionaries if necessary.)
  7. Once completed with questions, hold a class discussion related to students’ responses.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, allow students to read aloud their responses and discuss.
  10. In closing, ask students: Do you believe the citizens of the United States today could work cooperatively with each other today as the Pilgrims did in 1620 if they had to write a document like the Mayflower Compact? Why or why not?

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies

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CG
12/03/2018
Carlos G.
US

Mayflower Compact

I will always be very grateful to Clarendon, they make teaching very easy. I love the content and is so easy to explain.