What Do We Know About Samoset, Squanto, and Massasoit?
This resource is a Social Studies student activity that utilizes Utah's Online Library resources - specifically, EBSCO's Explora Elementary and Gale's Kids InfoBits Grades K-6 to help students learn about the Plymouth Colony.
About Utah’s Online Library
Utah's Online Library provides Utah educators and students free access to high-quality reference collections such as EBSCO, Gale Reference Collection, World Book, eMedia, and LearningExpress Library.
This activity was designed to help educators utilize this amazing resource in their classrooms.
Note: Utah educators and students visiting Utah's Online Library from a school computer should be automatically authenticated. When at home, students must use the home access login that their teacher or school media specialist can provide. Utah educators can use either their my.uen login or the home access login.
Essential Question: How did Native Americans help the Mayflower passengers who settled in Plymouth Colony be successful?
The first few years in Plymouth Colony were extremely difficult for the new colonists. Many were sick. Almost half of the 102 passengers who initially arrived aboard the Mayflower died from cold and exposure, malnutrition, and sickness.
A Native American named Samoset was helpful to the colonists and introduced them to other tribesmen. Samoset had learned to speak English from English fishermen and traders who had frequented the area in previous years.
Squanto was another Native American who spoke English and who helped the pilgrims learn more effective planting techniques for their crops and introduced them to native crops that grew well in the area.
The Wampanoag Native American leader, Massasoit also was beneficial to the pilgrims in establishing their new colony.
Have your students use the resources in Utah's Online Library to do further research about Samoset, Squanto, or Massasoit. (Squanto had a fascinating background.)
Gale's Kids Infobits contains 31 magazine articles, 6 book entries, and 2 illustrations about Squanto. It contains 12 magazine articles and 3 book entries about Samoset. It contains 15 magazine articles, 8 book entries, and 2 illustrations about Massasoit.
EBSCO's Explora Elementary contains 17 magazine articles, and 5 entries from biographical databases about Squanto. It contains 1 magazine articles and 2 entries from biographic databases about Samoset. It also contains 45 magazine articles, and 7 entries from biographical databases about Massasoit.
Having students use magazine/journal articles for part of their research is an excellent exercise in developing information literacy as they browse through articles to synthesize information to suit their learning objectives.
After gathering further information about the Native American of their choice, have students create an acrostic poem about Samoset, Squanto, or Massasoit. At the bottom of their poem, they should add supporting facts to validate the individual words that they chose. For example, if their person is Massasoit, and they choose the word "awesome" for the letter a in his name---at the bottom of their poem, they need to provide information about his life gained from their research to support their claim that he was awesome.