E/MS Unit I

Activity 2: Establishing "Praying Towns" and Educating Indian Youth

Share with students pertinent points from the Mass Moments essays on John Eliot and the founding of Natick and on the Indian College at Harvard. Discuss Eliot’s goals and how they fit with the goals of the colonial leaders. Distribute copies of an excerpt from John Winthrop’s journal and have students take turns reading from it. Then discuss the following questions:

  1. How would you describe John Eliot? What made him an unusual Englishman?
  2. What do missionaries do today?
  3. Why did the Puritans think they should convert Native Americans to Christianity?
  4. How did John Eliot go about this? What do you think about his approach?

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