Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Primary (X) - American Experience (X) - U.S. History (X)

The Pilgrims: Alliance with Massasoit’s People and the First Thanksgiving

Streaming icon

Discover what led Massasoit, the leader of one Wampanoag village, to form an alliance with the Plymouth colony and learn about the harvest feast now called the "First Thanksgiving," in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Pilgrims. In March 1621, a Native man named Samoset entered Plymouth and greeted the Pilgrims in English. Six days later, he returned to Plymouth with Massasoit and 60 armed men. Massasoit and Governor John Carver concluded an alliance of mutual defense. During the late summer or early fall, 52 colonists and some 90 Wampanoags celebrated Plymouth’s first successful harvest. 

Click on the links below to download a customizable student handout, video transcript, and links to related content.

Student HandoutTranscript | Related Links

See Support Materials for Teaching Tips. This resource is part of the American Experience: The Pilgrims collection.