In order to ensure the safety of staff and guests, we've made modifications to our Museum experience in accordance with public guidance and health recommendations. Please be sure to review these protocols to prepare for your visit! Museum Members:​ Please Reserve Your Visit Online

School & Outreach Programs

More than 90,000 teachers and students visit Plimoth annually to explore intertwined cultures, investigate changing landscapes, and understand 17th-century worldviews through immersive hands-on experiences with historical objects, written documents, and oral tradition. Plimoth's School & Outreach Programs can help your group engage in and explore these shared histories in many different ways, whether you are on a field trip, bringing Plimoth to your classroom or meeting, or visiting with us online

Click here to learn more about Plimoth's Workshops & Outreach Programs for 2020-2021.  

Ready to visit? Submit an online Education Program Request, email programs@plimoth.org, or call us at x8358

 

Digital Learning with Plimoth

Join Plimoth’s museum educators as they facilitate online discussions with your students enriching conversations about civics, community building, STEM and simple machines, cultural exchange, and more! Using two-way interactive videoconferencing, our virtual workshops provide an interactive exploration of our nation’s early beginnings through historical objects, written documents, and unique stories of the past. Each workshop can be customized to fit your grade, unit, or curricular goals. For the best experience, we recommend no more than 30 students per workshop. 

Ready to book? Submit an online Education Program Request, email programs@plimoth.org, or call us at x8358

 

LIVING HISTORY VIRTUAL PROGRAMS (GRADES 2-12)

People of the Dawn
Explore Wampanoag culture and traditions with Plimoth’s contemporary Indigenous Museum Educators. Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century. In this one-hour program, students will explore the connection the Wampanoag and other Native People have to their seasonal way of life, their respect for all living beings, and the ways they continue to carry on their traditions today. 

Fact or Fiction? Investigating the First Thanksgiving
Discover the real history of Thanksgiving and long-held traditions of gratitude in Indigenous and colonial America. 
What really happened at the First Thanksgiving? Who was at the table and why? Explore the history behind the legend by comparing accounts of the harvest feast and examining colonial and Indigenous artifacts. 

Colonial First Families: Their New Worlds and Everyday Lives
Meet a 17th-century Pilgrim and learn about their new life in a world unknown to them.
Our Museum teacher will portray an actual resident of 17th-century Plymouth Colony, speaking with the regional dialect and wearing period-appropriate clothing. Using reproduction artifacts and the narrative throughlines of risk, transformation and community, your visitor will share stories about the difficult decision to leave home, Mayflower’s transatlantic journey, the first winter and spring in Plymouth, and the harvest feast we know today as the First Thanksgiving. 

13 Moons and 12,000 Years

Join Darius Coombs, Director of Wampanoag and Algonquian Interpretive Training and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, for a unique conversation that explores 12,000 years of Wampanoag history and how communities past and present have adapted and sustained their seasonal, 13-moon lifecycles amid changing natural, social, and political landscapes. Best for grades 6-12. 

Dressing History
“Aren`t you hot in those clothes?” Join us for a fun, interactive sneak-peek into our 17th-century wardrobes and discover how style and fashion can offer valuable new insights into the daily lives of Plymouth Colony’s residents 400 years ago.  

Simple Machines & A(maize)ing Grains - STEM at the Plimoth Grist Mill
Simple machines, water power, and whole grains are a recipe for success at the Plimoth Grist Mill - a working exhibit of our Museum! Discover how 17th-century engineers and entrepreneurs harnessed the power of nature to fuel their communities.

HANDS-ON HISTORY VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS (GRADES 2-12)

Wampanoag Pottery 

Discover how archaeology and oral tradition helps us better understand 17th-century Wampanoag lifeways. Learn the importance of pottery to Wampanoag families and make your own pot using traditional methods. Bring your own clay or play-dough or make your own using all-natural pantry staples. 

Write Like a Pilgrim 
Much of what we know about Plimoth Colony comes from letters written by colonists and visitors to New England to family or friends. Learn how to write like a Pilgrim using a real 17th-century alphabet and create your own unique signature, inspired by those of Plimoth and Paxtuet's leaders. All you need is a writing utensil and paper. 

Powerful Stories

Wampanoag children learned through stories and play. Join Plimoth's Indigenous Culture & History Associate, Tim Turner,  for a hands-on retelling of the classic Haudenosaunee tale, "The No Faced Doll," and make your own corn husk doll to take home. Cornhusk is available online or at your local grocery store. Need a cornhusk substitute? Try baking parchment paper instead.

More online resources for teachers and students are available here.

Plan Your Field Trip 

There’s a reason why Plimoth Plantation is one of the most popular field trip destinations in New England!  Visits to the Museum are a great way to spark the imagination of your students and help to make history come alive. At Mayflower, the 17th-Century English Village, and the Wampanoag Homesite, students are surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of the 17th century. 

Looking for ways to help prepare your students? Make sure to check out Field Trip Materials. You can also go to the Just for Kids section for historical background information for students.

Well-prepared chaperones are so important for a field trip. Visit our Chaperone Guide page for information on preparing chaperones and for a printable chaperone guide.

RESERVATIONS

Plimoth Plantation is a popular destination for adult and student tour groups. Book early for the best times of year! Plimoth Plantation offers discounted rates for different types of groups and apply for groups of 15 or more people. Please contact the Group Sales Office at 508-746-1622, ext 8358, or groupsales@plimoth.org for more information about rates and package deals.

SCHEDULING

Our busiest times, which tend to sell out early, are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. We are particularly busy in late May through June and also in late October through the end of November. School groups are encouraged to visit Monday or Tuesday mornings to avoid heavy traffic on our sites. We also suggest that our adult tour groups may want to visit in the afternoon hours.

To assist you in planning your visit, we recommend you allocate a minimum of 3 hours at Plimoth Plantation and a minimum of 1 hour at Mayflower II. Travel time between the two sites is approximately 15 minutes.

All group visits are self-guided tours of the Museum sites. Guided Tours are available on request for an additional fee.

Group Sales Office hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. Our office is closed weekends and holidays.

If our phone lines are busy, you may place your reservation request online. A confirmation will be emailed to you, within one business day.

CHAPERONE POLICY

A minimum of one adult is required for every 10 students/children on our sites. Teachers and medical personnel are counted first as chaperones and are admitted FREE with presentation of school identification. Chaperones are admitted at the group student/child rate within the chaperone policy requirement. Chaperones above this ratio are admitted at the school group admission price of adults.

FIELD TRIP EXTRAS AND DINING

Looking to customize your experience? We offer a variety of options: 

Please let us know if you need to make any changes before your arrival and we will make every effort to accommodate your group. 

FUNDING

Your visit may qualify for full or partial funding from public and/or private sources. Learn about our Foundations for Kids program.

Contact us to book your history experience! Call (508) 746-1622 ext 8358, or fill out our Reservation Request Form.

BOOK A SPECIAL PROGRAM

What’s better than a trip to Plimoth Plantation? A visit with special historical experiences, designed just for your group! Let us customize your itinerary with guided tours, hands-on historic activities, themed meals, or presentations by Museum experts. Your experience doesn’t have to end at 5 p.m.! We can arrange special evening programs also. Your group can even sleepover at the Museum. 

Here are some of our unique options: 

For more information on all of our educational programming, visit the Learn section.

To speak with someone about customizing an experience, call (508) 746-1622 ext. 8359 or email: programs@plimoth.org.

GROUP DINING


CAFE SERVICE

This option is ideal for groups of fewer than 25 attendees who are looking for a casual experience, offering a wide selection of menu options. Our voucher system allows your group members to visit our café between 11am-12pm or 1:30pm-2:30pm to redeem their meal voucher for menu items of their choice. Vouchers can be purchased in advance in five-dollar increments and distributed to your guests. Guests are also welcome to visit the café and pay on their own for lunch or snacks.

CATERED LUNCHES

We offer a variety of buffet or served lunches, designed especially for larger groups. After a rewarding morning of touring Plimoth Plantation and grounds, enjoy a delicious meal and refuel for an exciting afternoon. Experience one of our historic 17th-century meals, with authentic preparation and dining to make your visit complete. Click here to download our Group Tour Catering Menu.

BOX LUNCHES

For our groups who are on-the-go, our Box Lunch Menu is the perfect solution. Choose from an executive style box or our deluxe menus of hand-made delicious sandwiches that are perfectly packaged and convenient to enjoy on the go as you complete your experience at Plimoth Plantation. Click here to download our Group Tour Catering Menu.

CUSTOMIZED SPECIAL EVENTS

Let our special event planners create a unique and unforgettable experience that your group will remember for years to come. No matter what the choice, idea, or suggestion may be our special event planners can create and customize an event for your group that is sure to make a lasting impression.

Contact Diane Cox at (508) 746-1622 extension 8365 or email dcox@plimoth.org  for more information

PARKING AND ACCESS


DIRECTIONS FOR GROUP OPERATORS

For detailed driving directions to Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II, see our Getting Here page. 

NOTE: If traveling by highway, enter 26R River Street, Plymouth, MA in mapping systems or GPS to get the best routing results.

Bus Parking at Plimoth Plantation

Complimentary motorcoach parking is available in the lower Bus Parking lot. If entering from the River Street driveway, turn right, and the Bus Lot will be on your left. If arriving from Warren Avenue, go up the Warren Avenue driveway, cross the Main Parking lot, and continue towards the Route 3 exit, and the Bus Lot will be on your left.

Bus Parking at the Waterfront

The motorcoach drop-off/pick-up area is a designated crescent on Water Street just north of Plymouth Rock and in front of Mayflower II. Complimentary town parking for motorcoaches is located less than half a mile north on Water Street just beyond the Wharf rotary.

For People with Disabilities

Parking for people with disabilities is available in the motorcoach lot. The Visitor Center, Craft Center, Nye Barn and Wampanoag Homesite are handicapped accessible; The 17th-century English Village has limited accessibility. The exhibit area at Mayflower II is wheelchair accessible. The Mayflower II vessel is not fully accessible.

For the best experience group leaders with special needs, guests should contact the Group Sales Office prior to arrival.

Special rates are available for limited access.

TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT

Please note that you are responsible for your students and their behavior.

Please keep the group together with you at all times. Unescorted students/children are not allowed in the exhibits, retail shops or on the grounds. Please monitor their behavior when they are talking with Museum staff and encourage them to read signs as they enter the exhibits. This is especially important at the Native Wampanoag Homesite. Many students/children are unaware that behavior like using war whoops or saying “How!” can be considered disrespectful by many Native people. In order to help prepare your chaperones, please see our Chaperone Guide.

Parking
Parents who have followed the bus to the Museum MUST park their vehicles in the upper parking lot. The lower parking lot is reserved for buses and handicap parking only. Please carpool whenever possible. Click here for directions to the museum.

Arrival
On arrival, the group leader should check-in with our Guest Service staff. Please have ready the actual number of people in your group, students/children, teachers with school credentials, and chaperones. The final cost will depend on the actual number of students/children and adults who visit. At Plimoth Plantation, we ask that the students remain on the bus until the group leader has returned to the bus. Your group will then line up on the walkway into the Visitor Center. Please stay to the left to allow room for other people to walk. Guest Services will bring your group into the Museum when there is availability in the theatre to view the orientation film.

At Mayflower II students should accompany the group leader to the Museum entrance.

Payment 
We do not require a deposit for admission. Payment is required in full on arrival unless prior billing arrangements have been approved. You may pay by school check, school purchase order, scout check, major credit card, or cash.  If paying by check please make check payable to Plimoth Plantation Inc. One payment is required for the entire group, including extra adults. If paying in cash, please collect money in advance. Please no coins or small bills, as counting will slow down the transaction. In the case of overpayment, refunds are issued at the end of each month, and will be mailed to the customer name and address on the group reservation. 

Bathrooms
Bathrooms are located in the Peabody Pavilion, adjacent to the bus parking lot. We ask that you use these bathrooms before entering the Henry Hornblower Visitor Center.  Bathrooms are also available in the Craft Center, located outside the 17th-century English Village and in the Visitor Center as you return from the outdoor exhibits sites, near Patuxet Café and the Museum Shops.  At Mayflower II there are restrooms at Pilgrim Memorial State Park.

Bag Lunches
Your group is welcome to eat their lunch at the Peabody Pavilion located adjacent to the bus parking lot, where there are picnic tables. You may also eat on the grass areas outside the Museum, based on availability.  We do not reserve facilities for bag lunches. If Peabody Pavilion is not available, or if it is rainy or cold weather, we recommend that your bus remain on site for the students/children to eat their lunch. Bag lunches are not allowed to be consumed inside the Visitor Center.

Food Service
There are several dining options available at our Museum. We offer exclusive and entertaining catered events, perfect for small or large gatherings, that suit everyone’s taste and include modern favorites or historically inspired menu offerings.  You may also visit Patuxet Café located in the Visitor Center.

Access 
For the best experience, group leaders with special needs should contact the Group Sales Office by calling 508-746-1622 ext. 8358, prior to arrival.  You may also view our Guide to Access for more information.

Restrictions 

  • You will see rare breed animals: please do not touch, feed or tease the animals, or chase the chickens.
  • Students/Children are allowed to handle and examine objects, as long as they are carefully supervised.
  • Help us keep the modern world at bay by limiting cell phone calls. But do feel free to take pictures or make video/audio recordings during your visit. Your pictures and recordings are intended for personal keepsakes only. If you would like to use these images for commercial purposes or in publications, please contact Plimoth Plantation’s PR Manager to obtain written permission: pr@plimoth.org or 508-746-1622 x8206
  • Please do not smoke, drink or eat in the exhibit areas.

Lost Objects
Lost and found is located at the front desk of Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower II. You may contact them at 508-746-1622 ext. 8609.

In case of an Emergency
Should an emergency arise, notify the nearest staff member, even if they are in costume.

Inclement Weather 
Plimoth Plantation rarely closes because of weather.  We suggest that you dress comfortably for the weather conditions. If your school is canceled, please send us a message at groupsales@plimoth.org and we will work with you to reschedule your trip. We do not schedule rain dates.

Preparing Students
For tips and techniques on preparing your students, please see our Field Trip Materials.

And finally, have fun and learn something old with us today!  Motivate students and children to think like historians by seeking many sources of information. Read signs, observe surroundings, and examine objects. Encourage your young explorers to interview Native staff and costumed role-players depicting the original settlers of Plimoth Colony.

 

Enhance Your Visit to Plimoth

Hands-on Workshops, Guided Tours, and Overnights offer immersive, interactive, and fun ways to enhance a visit to our living history sites and exhibits. Take a guided tour, solve a history mystery, resolve a community dispute, sign the Mayflower Compact, discover the histories behind the First Thanksgiving, or play a 17th-century game. There's something for everyone, from our Youngest Learners to Lifelong LearnersLearn more about Plimoth's Workshops & Outreach Programs. 

 

Bring Plimoth to You 

Can`t come to us? We can come to you! Plimoth's team of Wampanoag (Native) and Colonial Museum Educators provide Virtual Field Trips and in-person Classroom Visits and traveling workshops to schools and groups all over the United States. Our teachers have traveled as far as California and Alaska! The Museum also offers lectures, talks, and educational programs for libraries, conventions, meetings, historical societies and civic groups. Topics vary according to the audience and have included 17th-century Colonial Life, Colonial women, and cultural stereotypes.

 

Classroom & Outreach Programs for K-12 groups

Wampanoag Classroom Visit: The Wampanoag Way (PreK - 2)

Our in-school classroom visits are delivered by Native museum teachers, who dress in modern clothing and speak from a modern perspective. This allows them to discuss the story of their people in past and present times. Our museum teachers will bring a variety of artifacts for students to touch and view. Each program is a 45-minute to one-hour presentation to one classroom. 

MASSACHUSETTS FRAMEWORKS FOR HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | WAMPANOAG CLASSROOM VISIT | PRE-K–2

Pre-K–1 "Building a Foundation for Living, Learning and Working Together"

  • Learn about what happened in times past
  • Recognize and commemorate our shared history as a nation and community
  • Understand how people adapt to or change their environment
  • Understand the typical work of men, women, and children
  • Learn the connections between geography and economics, and that the natural resources can be specific to the geography of a place and can influence its economic activities

Grade 2 Enhanced understanding of "Building a Foundation for Living, Learning, and Working Together"

  • Recognize the reasons why people settle in particular places and why they migrated
  • Understand the culture and traditions of migrants
  • Discover and make use of natural resources for their own consumption and for trading with others
  • Learn how people adapt to or change their environment to meet their needs for survival and living
  • Discover why humans prefer to settle by rivers, bodies of water and in/near certain landforms

Colonial Classroom Visit: Life in 1627 Plymouth Colony (PreK - 2)

Imagine the first Thanksgiving! Your students will learn about the feast by meeting a Pilgrim and playing with every-day objects from Pilgrim daily life. 

Our Museum teacher will dress like a Pilgrim, but speak to the students from a modern perspective. The teacher will wear accurate reproduction Pilgrim clothing and will arrive with a variety of reproduction objects from colonial daily life. In this program, your Museum teacher will begin by introducing the students to Colonial artifacts and clothing, inviting comparisons to their own household objects and wardrobes in the present day. During the second half of the program, students will rotate through a series of “Pilgrim Life” play centers in small groups. Each program is a 45-minute to one-hour presentation to one classroom. 

MASSACHUSETTS FRAMEWORKS FOR HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | COLONIAL CLASSROOM VISIT | PRE-K–2

Pre-K–1: "Building a Foundation for Living, Learning, and Working Together"

  • Learn about what happened in times past
  • Recognize and commemorate our shared history as a nation and community
  • Understand how people adapt to or change their environment
  • Understand the kinds of work typical for men, women, and children
  • Learn the connections between geography and economics, and that the natural resources can be specific to the geography of a place and can influence its economic activities

Grade 2: Enhanced understanding of "Building a Foundation for Living, Learning and Working Together"

  • Recognize the reasons why people settled in particular places and why they migrated
  • Understand the culture and traditions of migrants
  • Discover and make use of natural resources for their own consumption for for trading with others
  • Learning how people adapt to or change their environment to meet their needs for survival and living
  • Discover why humans prefer to setle by rivers, bodies of water and in/near certain landforms

Wampanoag Classroom Visit: Peoples of the Dawn Land (Grades 2-5)

Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century, as well as their current lives and communities. Students will gain an understanding of the connection the Wampanoag and other Native people have to Mother Earth, their seasonal way of life and their respect for all living beings. Our Native American Museum Teacher wears modern clothing and speaks from a modern perspective so that they can discuss the story of their people in both past and present times. They will share artifacts of traditional life, such as wooden bowls and spoons, animal furs and tools. Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom.

MASSACHUSETTS FRAMEWORKS FOR HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | WAMPANOAG CLASSROOM VISIT | GRADES 2–5

Grade 3 "Massachusetts, Home to Many Different People"

History and Social Science Topics

  • Massachusetts cities and towns today and in history
  • The geography and Native peoples of Massachusetts
  • Native peoples' contacts with European explorers
  • The Pilgrims, the Plymouth Colony, and Native people
  • The Puritans, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Native peoples
  • Massachusetts before, during, and after the American Revolution

In studying these topics, students apply grades 3–5 reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills, and learn vocabulary and concepts related to history and social science.

  • Explain who the Pilgrim men and women were and analyze their relationships with the Wampanoag and Abenaki/Wabanaki people.
  • Explain how any one of the explorers described the Native Peoples 
  • Describe contacts with the Native leaders Samoset and Massasoit, events leading to a celebration to give thanks for the harvest, and subsequent relationships between Europeans and Native peoples in southeastern Massachusetts
  • Compare and contrast the roles and leadership decisions of early English leaders of the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony (e.g. John Winthrop, Miles Standish, William Brewster, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, John Alden, John Cotton, Thomas Hooker) and the roles and decisions of the leaders of Native peoples (e.g., Massasoit; Metacom, also known as King Philip).
  • Explain consequences of Puritan men and women's migration west from the Atlantic coast for the Native peoples of the region (e.g., loss of territory, great loss of life due to susceptibility to European diseases, religious conversion, conflicts over different ways of life such as the Pequot War and King Philip's War).

Grade 4 North America: Geography and map skills

  • Ancient civilizations of North America
  • Early European exploration of North America
  • What are the physical features of North America?
  • What were the reasons for European migration across the Atlantic Ocean?
  • Describe the diverse cultural nature of the region contributions of Native people and English settlers? 

Grade 5 Building on knowledge from previous years

  • Explain the early relationships of English settlers to Native Peoples in the 1600's and 1700's, including the impact of diseases introduced by Europeans in severely reducing Native populations, the differing views on land ownership or use, property rights, and the conflicts between the two groups (e.g., the Pequot and King Philip's wars in New England).

Colonial First Families: Their New Worlds and Everyday Lives (Grades 2-5)

Our Museum Teacher will portray a resident of 1627 Plimoth Colony, using their life story to frame the program. Your Museum Teacher will speak with a regional, English dialect of the 17th century and wear accurate reproduction clothing to bring the world of Pilgrims to life. Using reproduction artifacts to enhance your classroom’s experience, your visitor will share the Pilgrim story from hiring Mayflower in England, through the journey and the first winter, to Thanksgiving in Plymouth. Each program is a one-hour presentation to one classroom.

MASSACHUSETTS FRAMEWORKS FOR HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | COLONIAL CLASSROOM VISIT | GRADES 2–5

Grade 2: "Building a Foundation for Living, Learning, and Working Together"

  • Recognize the reasons why people settle in particular places and why they migrated
  • Understand the culture and traditions of migrants
  • Discover and make use of natural resources for their own consumption and for trading with others
  • Learn how people adapt to or change their environment to meet their needs for survival and living
  • Discover why humans prefer to settle by rivers, bodies of water and in/near certain landforms.

Grade 3: "Massachusetts, Home to Many Different People"

History and Social Science Topics

  • Massachusetts cities and towns today and in history
  • The geography and Native peoples of Massachusetts
  • Native peoples' contacts with European explorers
  • The Pilgrims, the Plymouth Colony, and Native peoples
  • The Puritans, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Native peoples
  • Massachusetts before, during, and after the American Revolution

Literacy in History and Social Science: In studying these topics, students apply grades 3–5 reading writing and speaking and listening skills, and learn vocabulary concepts related to history and social science.

Grade 4: "North America: Geography and map skills"

  • Ancient civilizations of North America
  • Early European exploration of North America
  • What are the physical features of North America?

Grade 5: Research the early relationships of English settlers to Native peoples in the 1600's and 1700's, to understand:

  • Impacts of diseases introduced by Europeans in severely reducing native populations
  • The differing views on land ownership or use, property rights, and the conflicts between the two groups (the Pequot and King Philip's Wars in New England)

Topic 3: European explorers' first contacts with Native peoples in the Northeast

    Supporting Question: How did European explorers describe the Northeast and its Native peoples?

  • Locate North America, the Atlantic Ocean, and Europe on a map, explain how Native peoples first came into contact with Europeans, and explain why Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries sailed westward across the Atlantic (e.g., to find new trade routes to Asia and new supplies of natural resources such as metals, timber, and fish).
  • Trace on a map the voyages of European explorers of the Northeast coast of North America (e.g., Giovanni Caboto [John Cabot], Bartholomew Gosnold, Giovanni de Verrazano, John Smith, Samuel de Champlain). 
  • Explain how any one of the explorers described the Native peoples and the new lands, and compare an early 17th-century map of New England with a current one.

Topic 4: The Pilgrims, The Plymouth Colony, and Native Communities

    Supporting Question: What were the challenges for women and men in the early years in Plymouth?

  • Explain who the Pilgrim men and women were and why they left Europe to seek a place where they would have the right to practice their religion; describe their journey, the government of their early years in Plymouth Colony, and analyze their relationships with the Wampanoage and Abenaki/Wabanaki people.
  • the purpose of the Mayflower Compact and the principle of self-government
  • challenges for Pilgrim men, women and children in their new home (e.g. building shelter and starting farming, become accustomed to a new environment, maintaining their faith and keeping a community together through self-government)
  • contacts with the Native leaders Samoset and Massasoit, events leading to a celebration to give thanks for the harvest, and subsequent relationships between Europeans and Native peoples in southeastern Massachusetts.

Topic 5: The Puritans, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Native Peoples and Africans

    Supporting Question: How did the interactions of Native peoples, Europeans, and enslaved and free Africans shape the development of Massachusetts?

  • Compare and contrast the roles and leadership decisions of early English leaders of the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony and the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony (e.g. John Winthrop, Miles Standish, William Brewster, Edward Winslow, William Bradford, John Alden, John Cotton, Thomas Hooker) and the roles and decisions of the leaders of Native peoples (e.g., Massosoit; Metacom, also known as King Philip).
  • Explain why Puritan men and women migrated in great numbers to Massachusetts in the 17th century, how they moved west from the Atlantic coast, and the consequences of their migration for the Native peoples of the region (e.g. loss of territory, great loss of life due to susceptibility to European diseases, religious conversion, conflicts over different ways of life such as the Pequot War and King Philip's War).
  • Using visual primary sources such as paintings, artifacts, historic buildings, or text sources, analyze details of daily life, housing education, and work of the Puritan men, women, and children of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, including self-employed farmers and artisans, indentured servants, employees, and enslaved people.
  • Explain the importance of maritime commerce and the practice of bartering—exchanging goods or services without payment in money—in the development of the economy of colonial Massachusetts, using materials from historical societies and history museums as reference materials.

 

Winter Workshops at Plimoth 

The Colonial Winter Workshop is a comprehensive program providing a solid foundation for a unit on the Pilgrims. The two-part workshop includes a classroom visit and a hands-on workshop at the Museum and includes a packet of teaching resources. Available December - February only. A two-class program, each class a maximum of 25 students. (Two Classroom Visits: one for each class. One Workshop for two classes.) Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks: 2.7, 2.8, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.12, 4.11, 4.14, 4.15.

Part 1: Classroom Visit

Learn about 1627 Plimoth Plantation from an actual Pilgrim in your classroom! Our Museum teacher will portray an actual resident of 1627 Plimoth Colony, using the person’s life story to frame the one-hour program. For that hour the year is 1627 and your Museum teacher will speak with a regional, English dialect of the 17th century, wearing accurate reproduction clothing. Using reproduction artifacts to enhance your classroom’s experience, your visitor will share the Pilgrim story, from hiring Mayflower in England, through the journey and the first winter, to Thanksgiving in Plymouth. As a highlight of the program, two children will be invited to try on Colonial children's clothing!  

Part 2: Hands-On Workshop at Plimoth Plantation

This two-and-a-half-hour workshop takes place in our Visitor Center and in two of the reproduction houses of our English Village..  One class begins the day outdoors in the English Village in the year 1627, working alongside Colonists, experiencing the chores of a child in 1627 Plymouth. The second class begins the day indoors, in the Visitor Center, where the students practice writing with quill pens and examine reproduction artifacts to determine what the objects reveal about the lives of the Colonists. After completing the first round of activities the classes change places, so both groups experience both the indoor and the outdoor activities. 

TRAVELING WORKSHOPS

These active hands-on Traveling Workshops focus on a lighter side of 17th-century English life. Each fun-filled program weaves the historical background with plenty of hands-on exploration and activities. Workshops are led by non-costumed Museum teachers and require a large open area such as a gymnasium. Programs can be held outside, weather permitting, but please make sure to have a back-up indoor space reserved.

Hands-on Wampanoag Craft (Grades 3-12)

In the 17th century, the Wampanoag people made their own toys and household implements. In this program, a Native Museum teacher will lead a craft workshop. Students will make a corn husk doll or a clay pot. While they work, students will learn about Wampanoag culture, including the significance of the raw materials, the use of the object they have made, and the roles of Wampanoag men and women - who would have made this object in the 17th century?

Music & Dance (Grades 3-12)

The Music and Dance workshop provides the opportunity for students to explore two popular forms of 17th-century entertainment: singing and dancing. After talking about the role of music and dance in the lives of 17th-century English people in general, and the Pilgrims in particular, students learn popular songs from the time and perform a country dance. Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework: 2.7, 2.8, 3.12.

17th-Century Games & Sports (Grades 2-12)

Hard work was the norm for families in 17th-century England and New England, but children and adults also played games and sports. Students will learn about the role of play in a 17th-century child's life by participating in popular English pastimes such as nine-pins, hoop-rolling, and telling riddles. This workshop may be held outside, weather permitting. We require an indoor space to be reserved as a back-up for inclement weather. Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework: 2.7, 2.8, 3.12.

Professional Speakers 

Plimoth Plantation offers educational and entertaining programs for libraries, conventions, meetings, historical societies and civic groups. Hold your event in one of our unique venues or let us bring history to you! Either way, it will be an event to remember. For more information or to reserve a speaker, please call (508) 746-1622 ext. 8359 or email programs@plimoth.org, or make an online reservation request.

Costumed Role Player Presentations

Invite a Pilgrim to your meeting and bring history to life! These engaging, interactive presentations can focus on the Pilgrim story, daily life in Plymouth Colony, the role of women, 17th-century gardening, Colonial defense, or any other topic you would like. Appropriate for youth and adult groups.

Indigenous voices presentations

Native speakers share the life and culture of the Wampanoag and Eastern Woodlands Tribes. Programs can include topics such as 17th-century daily life, the environment, foodways, music and clothing. Images and artifacts are often used to illustrate these fascinating presentations. Native speakers wear modern dress and speak about Native life today as well as in the past. Appropriate for youth or adult groups.

Museum Experts and Historians

It takes dedicated and knowledgeable experts to bring 17th-century Pilgrim and Wampanoag history to life at Plimoth Plantation. Now you can invite one of our staff experts to share their expertise with your group. Our experts can speak to your group on the history of the colony or on specific topics such as 17th-century agriculture, gardening, religion, foodways, architecture, clothing and more.

 

Teacher & Educator Resources

Lesson Ideas & Field Trip Resources

Plimoth's online resources can help you plan a lesson or classroom unit and prepare your students for a field trip or a school or outreach program. We also provide resources for students, including student-friendly research materials, an interactive online exploring Thanksgiving called You are the Historian, and virtual exhibits featuring objects from our Museum's collections. 

History in a New Light: Illuminating the Archaeology of Historic Patuxet & Plimoth 

This virtual exhibit demonstrates how the modern town of Plymouth has been shaped by the ways humans have lived along these shores for thousands of years, and how this land continues to reveal stories of a transcultural Indigenous-Colonial regional society. 

A Civil Body Politic: the Mayflower Compact 

Explore 17th-century civics and community building when you reimagine one of America's founding documents in your classroom from Plimoth and PBS Learning Media.   

Thanksgiving Interactive: You Are the Historian​ 

​The award-winning interactive activity where kids become history detectives to solve the mystery of what really happened at The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip-Scholastic Webcast

This 30-minute video is a recast of Scholastic's "Virtual Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation" that aired to over 1 million students on November 16, 2010.

The Wampanoag Way 

This 8-minute video from Plimoth and Scholastic News explores the Wampanoag - a Native American tribe from the northeastern United States. They were there when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 and they are still there today. Learn about their lives long ago by meeting two modern-day Wampanoag girls. Perfect for grades 1-3. 

Interwoven: a podcast from Plimoth Plantation

Interwoven explores the ways stories weave through generations, communities, and cultures to inform our contemporary lives. Rooted deep in the 17th century, Interwoven expands beyond the relationships between the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims to discuss larger cross-cultural interactions of the very people who lived along these shores of change. Interwoven is available for streaming and download on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Plimoth and Patuxet Ancestors

Biographical information on the Pilgrims. This is a great resource for teachers who have students research Pilgrim individuals or families.  Also, check out the great essays on children in Plymouth Colony.

For more Teacher Resources, visit our online Museum Shop. Remember, teachers receive a 10% discount on educational materials.

 

Teacher Partner Program

Planning your next field trip? New England K-12 educators can sign up for our Teacher Partner Program and come for a planning visit and enjoy free admission to the Museum’s main living history exhibits and our STEM exhibits at the Plimoth Grist Mill as well as discounts on professional development, teacher resources, and more! For more information or to reserve a program, call us at (508) 746-1622, ext 8359, email us at programs@plimoth.org, or make an online reservation request.    

 

Professional Development & Teacher Workshops 

Designed to excite and inspire teachers, our programs blend classroom instruction with hands-on, experiential activities and visits to the Museum’s living history sites! Our professional development programs draw upon the expertise and wealth of resources that make Plimoth Plantation one of the most well-known and respected living history museums in the country. Workshops are taught by Native and non-Native presenters. In addition to covering historical content that meets state and national curriculum standards, workshops also address the processes of studying American History and effective methods for incorporating museum resources into the classroom.  Whether a two hour in-service or a two- or three-day program at Plimoth Plantation, let us design an authentic, stimulating and innovative program for your group. A perfect fit for groups studying Plymouth Colony history, early Colonial history, Native American history, immigration, and cultural interactions.

More information about Teacher Workshops 

Workshops can include:

  • Presentations by Museum staff and historians
  • Primary source document workshops (Mayflower Compact, 1621 Treaty, The First Thanksgiving)
  • Hands-on, historic workshops (Wampanoag artifacts, Wampanoag pottery, Colonial cooking, Colonial games)
  • Visits to the Museum’s living history sites (Mayflower II, 17th Century English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, and Craft Center)
  • Historic Dining (“A Taste of Two Cultures,” “A Wampanoag Social Feast” and “Eat Like a Pilgrim”)
  • Teaching Materials (teachers receive 10% discount on educational materials in our shops)
  • An overnight experience at the Museum (some of our groups have slept on Mayflower II and our Colonial and Wampanoag education sites)

New England Historic Site Collaborative (NEHSC)

Plimoth Plantation is pleased to be a part of the NEHSC, a group of nine New England historic sites, museums, and libraries collaborating on a series of weeklong teacher training programs. For more information, visit the NEHSC or download the NEHSC workshop brochure. The programs offer a variety of hands-on, intensive and engaging experiences and explore themes of:

  • Colonial Encounters
  • The American Revolution
  • Slavery and Reform
  • 19th-century Industry 

 

STUDENT RESOURCES 

The Education Department provides resources for students, including research materials, an interactive web program exploring Thanksgiving called You are the Historianbiographical information about the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, and examples of artifacts in our collections.

Looking for help on a homework assignment? We have lots of kid-friendly articles about 17th-century life, or you could take a virtual field trip to Plimoth! Learn about what it was like to be a Pilgrim or Native child in the 1600s, the story of the First Thanksgiving, and even how to Talk Like a Pilgrim

Don’t let the name fool you - adults are welcome too! 

 

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