Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Reflections of a Different Time; Pilgrim Children

Michele Ludick
Colleges and Universities - Florida


Students create a reflective journal entry on the lives of Pilgrim children. Optional opportunities are provided for students to use a word processing program or create a PowerPoint presentation.


The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).


-Book Titled: "The Pilgrims of Plimoth," BY; MARCIA SEWALL, Published by: Anthenemum Books for Young Readers, 1986.
-Writing paper
-Pens or pencils
-Computers with word processing or PowerPoint program (optional)


1. Review section of book for class.
2. Review vocabulary and phrases listed in the book that may require explanations for your students (as every classroom's instruction differs these may be words being addressed in a social studies lesson or unit or in a lesson on Pilgrims already in place.) Share these words and phrases with your students. Become as familiar as possible with the way the entire story is written to facilitate a good blending of current terms as they relate to the vocabulary and phrases.
3. Establish a place for the read-aloud.
4. Gather writing material if necessary.
5. Provide access to word or word processing software in your classroom. Students may wish to use this as a way in which to write their journal entry.


1. Start an open discussion about the activities in the lives of children (e.g. sports, taking care of pets, chores, homework, school church.)

2. Let students share their activities with the class.

3. Read to students (whole group) Pages 36-44 of "The Pilgrims of Plimoth."

4. Reopen the discussion and address how the Pilgrim children’s lives were different from ours today and why they were. (e.g. tending crops, learning -housewifery-, learning to spin wool)

5. Tell students they are going to create a reflective journal entry.

6. Explain that a reflective journal entry is one that allows them to express how they felt about the lives of the Pilgrim children they read about and what they had to do and why they feel that way.

7. Tell students they will need to reflect on two of the things Pilgrim children did. Here students may wish to construct their entries on the computer, in a journal or as a PowerPoint. (If these programs are in your classroom encourage your students to use them. Rotate through the computers if possible to allow all your students a chance to use the programs)

8. Encourage students to use the correct level of grammer skills being taught in your classroom in their writings.

9. After students have completed their writing have them share in whole group or small group what they wrote and why they felt the way they did.


The journal entry serves as the assessment. Students need to use two of the things the Pilgrim children did in their reflections. Students need to indicate their feelings in relationship to the two items they chose to reflect on in their writing.

Information Managers:
Did students use information they had accurately? Did they identify the way they felt about the information?

Effective Communicators:
Did students express how they felt clearly and explain why they felt the way they did?

Culturally Sensitive Learners:
Were students able to see why Pilgrim children’s lives were the way they were and why? (could be addressed orally through a question and answer session with students)

Assess the writing using the following rubric:
4--Included two things Pilgirm children did and indicated their feeling about these items.
3--Included one thing Pilgrim children did and indicated their feelings about the item.
2--Included no items representing what Pilgrim children but shared their feelings about the things the pilgrim children did from the story read-aloud.
1--Included no items and/or reflections.

If students are using the word processing program or PowerPoint, circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


Extensions for this lesson could include a discussion on the entire book for language arts, a social studies research styled project on Pilgrim life and history, a math lesson by way of a life timeline which looks at the roles of Pilgrim children as they grow, a science lesson by way of looking at what crops they grew and why as well as how the seasons effected them. A technology lesson by way of a word processing program for writing, Internet access for research, a Webquest or interactive story.
Have students share their entries and then email the top five that are chosen by the students to the authors.
Students may also wish to use Key Pals to share their learning.
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