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Famous People of Massachusetts

A WebQuest for 3th Grade Massachusetts Study

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Introduction | Task | Process | Conclusion | Credits


Your teacher is very lucky to have recently come across the Massachusetts Magic Cranberry. This fruit has very special powers. If you touch the cranberry three times, any famous Massachusetts person you choose will magically appear in your classroom. He/she will even be able to speak to you! But before the person will appear, you must lure him/her with a letter that contains what you admire about him/her. So that you don't waste this wonderful opportunity, you want to be sure to prepare questions you would like answered.

The Task

You will select famous Massachusetts people to read about and choose one. You must write a letter to this person and prepare questions you wish to ask.

The Process

1. Take a look at the table below. Choose one person from each category to read about. Click on his/her name to go to a website that gives more information.


John Adams 2nd U.S. president, Braintree

John Quincy Adams 6th U.S. president, Braintree

Samuel Adams patriot, Boston

Susan B. Anthony woman suffragist, Adams

George Bush 41st U.S. president, Milton

Benjamin Franklin statesman, scientist, Boston

John Hancock statesman, Braintree

John F. Kennedy U.S. president, Brookline

Paul Revere silversmith, Revolutionary War figure, Boston

William Bradford Govenor of Plimoth Colony, First Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony


John Greenleaf Whittier poet, Haverhill

Edgar Allan Poe writer, Boston

Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) author, illustrator, Springfield

Henry David Thoreau author, Concord

James Russell Lowell poet, Cambridge

Nathaniel Hawthorne author, Salem

Oliver Wendell Holmes poet, Cambridge

Louisa May Alcott author, Concord

E. E. Cummings poet, Cambridge

Emily Dickinson poet, Amherst

Ralph Waldo Emerson philosopher, poet, Boston


Luther Burbank horticulturalist, Lancaster

Benjamin Franklin statesman, scientist, Boston

Robert Hutchings Goddard rocketry, Worcester

Elias Howe inventor, Spencer

Eli Whitney inventor, Westboro

Alexander Graham Bell inventor

Samuel F. B. Morse painter, inventor

Charlestown R. Buckminster Fuller inventor, mathematician, philosopher, architect, engineer, Milton


John Singleton Copley painter, Boston

Winslow Homer painter, Boston

James McNeill Whistler painter, Lowell

Norman Rockwell painter

Childe Hassam painter, Boston


Clara Barton American Red Cross founder, Oxford

John Chapman / Johnny Appleseed nurseryman, Leominster

Buckminster Fuller architect, educator, Milton

Cotton Mather clergyman, Boston Sharon

Christa McAuliffe teacher, astronaut, Framingham

Frederick Law Olmstead landscape architect,

Lucy Stone woman suffragist, West Brookfield

Leonard Bernstein composer, Lawrence

Massasoit Wampanoag chief


2. After you have read about the people you chose, select one person you would like to meet.

3. To have them "appear" in your classroom, you must first write a letter to them. The letter must contain why you admire that person. Be specific - refer to things they have accoplished in their life. The letter should be one page, double spaced.

4. To prepare for their visit, you must create at least three questions to ask. The questions should be designed to get the person to "talk" (so they wouldn't be able to just answer with a yes or no) and give you new information.


Put a couple of sentences here that summarize what they will have accomplished or learned by completing this activity or lesson. You might also include some rhetorical questions or additional links to encourage them to extend their thinking into other content beyond this lesson.

Credits & References

List here the sources of any images, music or text that you're using. Provide links back to the original source. Say thanks to anyone who provided resources or help.

List any books and other analog media that you used as information sources as well.