Overview: Free pilgrim lesson plan for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. In this free lesson plan, students connect the first American colonists to later immigrants by reading Molly's Pilgrim, learning about the original Pilgrims in 1620, and discussing similarities and differences between the groups. Good for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes.
Subject: English Language Arts: Reading Literature, Expository Writing, Persuasive Writing
Social Studies: Cultural & Social Studies, Holidays, United States History
Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
Duration: 5 days
Related Concepts: Immigration, Religious Freedom, Civil Rights, Pilgrims
Students will be able to:
Demonstrate their understanding of the different cultures that have influenced American culture with an informative essay in which they compare and contrast modern reasons for immigration with historic reasons.
Essential Questions: What are the historical reasons for immigrating to the United States? Are those reasons the same for immigrants today?
Vocabulary: pilgrim, immigrant, immigration, religious freedom
Common Core Standards Addressed:
- ELA: Reading Literature:
- RL.3.1, 2, 10
- RL.4.1, 3, 10
- RL.5.1, 10
- ELA: Writing:
- W.3.2, 4, 5, 8, 10
- W.4.2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
- W.5.2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
- Graphic organizer
- Reading passage
- Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
- KWL chart
- Anchor chart
- Internet access
Begin by introducing the vocabulary words (pilgrim, immigrant, immigration, religious freedom). Post the words on the board/wall and invite students to discuss what they think each word means. Share the student-developed definitions, take notes, and dispel any misconceptions. Use a KWL chart.
Under K, have students write down what they think a pilgrim is.
Under W, ask students to write down their questions about pilgrims and about Molly's Pilgrim.
Read Molly's Pilgrim to the class. Pause while reading to ask comprehension questions (e.g. Why did Molly's Mama make the pilgrim doll that way? Why did Molly's classmates tease her? How did Molly's teacher change the minds of the other students? How did the other children react or change after the teacher's lesson? What will Molly do next?)
Under L, students write three things that they have learned about pilgrims from the book.
Remember back to yesterday's reading, Molly's Pilgrim. Talk about what Molly's pilgrim experience and what you learned about pilgrims and Thanksgiving.
Read about the first Pilgrims. Create a Venn diagram to compare/contrast historic pilgrims (1620) and Molly's experience.
Assign the essay prompt:
"Pilgrims are people seeking to come to a new place. Explain how the Pilgrims in 1620 are similar to Molly (from the book). Explain why pilgrims, from different times, might come to America."
Students should write an informative essay, with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
After creating the first draft, students should edit and revise their essay.
By the end of the week, students should turn in a finished essay with an illustration.
After each lesson, review the main points and explain the next steps for the following day.
Use an informative writing rubric to assess student essays. Essays should include concrete examples in which they draw from relevant texts to illustrate similarities between pilgrims from different eras.
Provide video and/or audio readings of Molly’s Pilgrim to struggling readers.
Have a scribe assist with writing the brainstorm and/or essay for learners who require this accommodation.
Frontload vocabulary from the book for English learners, and provide sentence starters for the essay itself.
Make pilgrims using the clothespin idea from Molly's Pilgrim; invite students to incorporate elements from their own cultural heritage into their dolls.
Read other books related to pilgrims and immigration. Have learners add to their Venn diagrams and discuss their changing understanding of immigration and pilgrims.
Brainstorm what students know about modern-day immigrants. Ask if anyone in the classroom has an immigrant experience, or if members of their families were immigrants. Bring in relevant news articles about refugees around the world and discuss reasons why people may come to America today. How are their reasons similar to Molly's and the pilgrims of the 1620's?