Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Table of Contents
The Great Awakening was a series of reintroductions or revivals that had an impact on the English Colonies in North America during the 1730s and 1740s. The ‘Awakenings’ were the result of powerful preachings and religious movements.
See the fact file below for more information on the The Great Awakening or alternatively, you can download our 22-page The Great Awakening worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Even though the most important years of the event were from 1740 until the 1760s, the Great Awakening began earlier than the 1720s.
- The Great Awakening by the English Colonies in America was at a time when people were focused on secular rationalism – matters of logic and experience or any certainty of knowledge that can be justified based on reason rather than on religious belief or emotional retort.
- It was during the time of the Scientific Revolution, when people like Isaac Newton were becoming famous on works relating to science.
- At the time, people were focused on occurrences that can be explained and proven by physical observation.
- Christian leaders traveled from town to town in order to preach the gospel, and since empiricism (a theory that knowledge comes primarily on physical experience or observation), they pulled away on the usual gospel ceremonies and made a series of revivals personal.
- These powerful preachings emphasized the listeners’ personal guilt or the need for salvation and redemption by Christ.
- The Great Awakening started an increased enthusiasm for Christianity and had a lasting impact on the Christian community and American culture alike.
FIRST GREAT AWAKENING
- The First Great Awakening is one of the most famous movements and is commonly referred to as just “The Great Awakening”.
- It focused on individuals who were already members of the church community.
- The early streams of the Great Awakening was when the Age of Reason or Enlightenment was making its way to the American colonies and focused people’s minds on scientific and logical views of the world.
- Because of this, religion was downplayed and church ceremonies were becoming more formal and less personal.
- People felt the need to return to religious devotion with religion because they were let down with how wealth and knowledge based on reason was dominating the culture.
- Thirteen colonies were divided into various religious groups such as Quakers, Anglicans, Baptists, and Presbyterians in Middle and Southern colonies.
- The first ray of the Great Awakening is through the ministry of Theodore J. Frelinghuysen of the Dutch Reformed Church in New Jersey where he touched the hearts of his listeners.
- Theodore’s first respondents were the young people who experienced the ‘awakening’ and who spread the message to the elders.
- During the same time when Frelinghuysen started the revival in New Jersey, Jonathan Edwards turned to Northampton, Massachusetts and became an assistant minister under his grandfather Solomon Stoddard.
- Although outshone by his grandson, Solomon was credited with being the first minister associated with the movement.
- History considers Jonathan Edwards as the Father of the Great Awakening because he is one of the prime movers of the revivals.
- He preached famously in his home parish in Northampton, but he also served in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
- He became brilliant because of the way he spoke with his monotone voice and his passion and energy.
- His preachings centered around the idea that humans were sinners, thus needed to ask for forgiveness to the God who was an angry judge.
- His series of sermons was justified by faith alone.
- He also showed interest in observing nature, and had written activities relating to spiders, hence his most famous sermon was based on the field of spider’s elements of nature and was titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” .
- In the sermon, the spider hanging on a thread over a hot fire was a metaphor for the people (spider), Hell (the hot fire), and God as savior (the thread).
- That sermon was spread across colonies quickly. His sermon were so powerful that it resulted to people wailing and crying.
- Edwards spread the revival not just through sermons but also through books and pamphlets that described what was happening in his church.
- In just six months, Jonathan Edwards recorded three hundred conversions which he was able to record in his book “Narratives of Surprising Conversion”.
- Another famous Great Awakening minister, George Whitefield, was noted as the Grand Itinerant by the American religious historian Sydney Ahlstrom.
- Whitefield was a preacher from Britain who began his career in North America in Georgia in 1739.
- He brought the gospel not only throughout Britain but also in America between 1738 and 1770.
- He was the minister who had travelled the most colonies – in one year, he covered 5,000 miles in America.
- He was able to preach more than 350 times to large crowds in open air because the size of the churches were not enough for his listeners.
- George Whitefield would maintain an exciting atmosphere and often had to shout during his sermons so that his thousand listeners could hear the word of God.
- One sermon in Philadelphia was able to reach 20,000 people. He was able to reach out and preach to common people, slaves, and Native Americans in a charismatic and theatrical way.
- Throughout his ministry travels, no one was left behind and out of reach.
- He successfully convinced English colonists to join local churches and gave back to the Christian faith.
OLD LIGHTS vs. NEW LIGHTS
- Charles Chauncy was one of the most famous leaders of those who chose not to embrace and oppose the ideas of the Great Awakening.
- Chauncy was a minister from Boston and would always critique Whitefield’s way of preaching.
- He believed in a more traditional and formal style of religion.
- As a result, debate over the Great Awakening stirred and forced a split in the New England clergy and colonists into two groups – Old Lights and New Lights.
- New Lights referred to the community who adopted the ideas of the Great Awakening.
- Old Lights was for those who supported and practiced the old-fashioned and traditional church.
SECOND and THIRD GREAT AWAKENING
- As the First Great Awakening ended sometime in 1740, the second series of revivals came to New England in 1790.
- The Second Great Awakening was a less emotional and personal religious revival.
- It brought-forth several colleges, seminaries, and mission societies.
- The Third Great Awakening spanned from the late 1850s to the early 20th century, but was regarded as an insignificant movement.
- Great Awakening movements eventually led to the American Revolution and American colonies’ behavior towards religious beliefs.
The Great Awakening Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about The Great Awakening across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Great Awakening worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Great Awakening which was a series of reintroductions or revivals that had an impact on the English Colonies in North America during the 1730s and 1740s. The ‘Awakenings’ were the result of powerful preachings and religious movements.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Great Awakening Facts
- Science and Religion
- Key Figures
- Odd One Out
- Traits of a Minister
- Who and Where
- Image Analysis
- Effects of the Awakening
- The Great Sermon
- News Writing
- Symbol Drawing
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as The Great Awakening Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.