Marvelous Massachusetts Activity and Worksheet by Harcourt Achieve Inc

Massachusetts Activity and Worksheet

Do you know about “The Shot Heard Round the World”? It was a gunshot that started the American Revolution. That shot was fired in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1775.

Captain John Smith explored the area in 1614. He named the region New England. He also made a map of the region. On it, the name Massachusetts was used for the first time.

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed on the Massachusetts coast. They had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a small ship. Its name was the Mayflower. The Pilgrims started a town named Plymouth. The Pilgrims arrived in wintertime. They had few supplies left. They could not plant or harvest crops. Many died that first winter. The others were helped by the local Indians. One of these Indians was Squanto. He could speak English. He got Chief Massasoit to help the Pilgrims. To show their thanks, the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving. They invited the Indians to their meal.

WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity

Sample PDF Activity

In 1628, the Massachusetts Bay Colony started. This town was about 50 miles north of Plymouth. The Puritans started this colony. Boston was started in 1630. By 1700, Boston was the most important city in New England. The first public park and public school in the country were in Boston. So were the first college, bookstore, and newspaper.

The colonists soon began to have trouble with England. They did not like some of the English laws and taxes. They thought the English king was unfair. In 1765, England passed the Stamp Act. This act placed a tax on newspapers and pamphlets. Many colonists did not like this act. They started a group called the Sons of Liberty.

In 1770, angry colonists attacked English soldiers in Boston. The soldiers fought back. Five Boston people were killed. One was Crispus Attucks, a former slave. The event became known as the Boston Massacre.

The English placed many new taxes on the colonies. One tax was on tea. In 1773, some of the Sons of Liberty dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest the tax. This event was called the Boston Tea Party.

In April 1775, tensions ran high. More English soldiers were sent to Massachusetts. They marched toward Lexington and Concord. The colonists had guns stored there. The colonist soldiers were called Minutemen. They could be ready to fight in a minute.

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride. He went around the countryside, warning the Minutemen. “The British are coming!” he cried. The English soldiers were also known as the British. The next morning, gunfire broke out in Lexington and Concord. The American Revolution had begun. The fighting lasted until 1781. At the end of the war, the American colonies were free of English rule.

In 1788, Massachusetts approved the new U.S. Constitution. It became the sixth state. As the years passed, Massachusetts played a key role in American history. People from there fought bravely in the War of 1812 and the Civil War. They fought for freedom in the world wars, too.

Massachusetts has four kinds of landscape. To the west are low mountains. In the west-central part of the state is the Connecticut River valley. It has rich farmland. In the central part is a plateau. A plateau is a raised level place. To the east are coastal lowlands. Massachusetts is about 110 miles (177 km) long north to south. It is about 190 miles (306 km) wide. The state has about 192 miles (309 km) of rocky shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean. There are many good harbors.

Massachusetts has many different kinds of weather. The inland areas have colder weather than the coastal areas. Winters in the state are long. They lead to short spring seasons. These are followed by warm summers and cool autumns.

Natural Resources
Large parts of Massachusetts are covered with forests. Sand and gravel, lime, and crushed stone are mined in the state. The Atlantic Ocean provides many seafood products.

At one time, shipping and textiles were the major industries in Massachusetts. Now manufacturing is very important. Factories there make computers and printing presses. They also make science equipment and telephones. Many other products are made there, too.

Most people in the state have service jobs. They work in wholesale and retail sales. They also have jobs in government. Some people work in banking or insurance. Many people also work to help tourists.

Farming is a small industry in Massachusetts. Farmers grow flowers, shrubs, and cranberries. Milk and other dairy products also come from the farms. Fishing is still a major industry in the state. New Bedford produces the most seafood products. Fishing is also important in Gloucester.

Higher Education
The oldest college in the U.S. is in Massachusetts. Harvard University was started in 1636. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is another famous college in the state. It opened in 1865.

Famous People
A list of famous people from Massachusetts would be very long. Many people from the state helped to win freedom from England. These include Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock.

Many writers also lived in the state. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe lived there. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau lived there, too. Two famous women writers came from the state. Emily Dickinson and Phillis Wheatley were famous poets.

James Whistler and Winslow Homer were famous painters from the state. Clara Barton founded the Red Cross. W.E.B. DuBois was an African-American writer. He helped to form the NAACP in 1910. And John F. Kennedy served as the 35th President of the U.S.

Massachusetts Today
Massachusetts has played a key role in American history. Certainly it will have a big part in America’s future.

Marvelous Massachusetts! Worksheet

Circle the letter of the correct answer.

  1. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was started by the __.
    a. Pilgrims
    b. Algonquin
    c. Mohican
    d. Puritans
  2. Edgar Allan Poe was a famous __.
    a. painter
    b. soldier
    c. writer
    d. President
  3. Clara Barton started the __.
    a. Boston Massacre
    b. Red Cross
    c. NAACP
    d. Massachusetts Bay Colony

Number the events in the order they happened.
The Boston Massacre took place.
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth.
The American Revolution ended.
Fighting took place at Lexington and Concord.
Captain John Smith explored the area.
Boston was settled in 1630.
Paul Revere made his famous ride.
The Sons of Liberty dumped tea into Boston Harbor.

Marvelous Massachusetts! – Answer Key

  1. d
  2. c
  3. b

Order: 4, 2, 8, 7, 1, 3, 6, 5

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