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Thanksgiving lesson: Voyage of the Mayflower

Thanksgiving Lesson: Voyage of the Mayflower
Thanksgiving Lesson: Voyage of the Mayflower
Lynda Ackert

This article is part 1 of a 3 part series of lessons for homeschoolers, centered around Thanksgiving.

Part 1: The Voyage
Begin with the Voyage of the Mayflower
Once there, click the "start" button to listen and learn about the voyage across the Atlantic.

Lesson Extension Ideas
Choose extension ideas based on the age and grade level of your child(ren):

  • On a globe or world map, find and discuss the path of the voyage.
  • Learn more about the Mayflower:
    Using a measuring tape, go outside and measure the approximate dimensions of the ship.
  • Create a calendar showing how long the journey actually took.
  • Write a report on thepassengers aboard the ship? What can you find out about them, their beliefs, their differences? Did they bring along any pets? Did all of the passengers survive?
    (Length and depth of the report can be based on age/level)

Next take a Tour of the Ship
Once there, click on each numbered box on the various areas of the ship to learn about each part.

Lesson Extension Ideas

  • Discuss vocabulary terms that may be unfamiliar with your child(ren) such as boatswain, forecastle,
    chamber pot, helmsman, apprentice, mariner and quadrant
  • Discuss the food that was eaten aboard the ship during the journey. Why were these foods chosen to take aboard the Mayflower? How would your child(ren) like eating only these foods for the amount of time the journey took?
  • Discuss what the passengers did during the long days aboard ship? Discuss what they "didn't" have for the journey.

Literature Connection

  • Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower's Mary Chilton
    Mary Chilton was one of the 102 passengers who stepped on board the Mayflower in the fall of 1620 for their long-awaited journey to the New World. This odd collection of "saints" and "Strangers" sailed bravely together into the unknown. All Mary can think about is finally finding a home--a place to belong. As she experiences the adventure and hardship of the ocean voyage, the struggle of starting the new Plymouth colony, and the happiness of the first harvest festival she learns that home has a bigger meaning than she thought. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
  • The Mayflower Pilgrims
    Huddled aboard a small ship plowing the Atlantic, 102 passengers sailed their way into history in 1620. Carpenter's well-researched narrative captures the physical hardships, spiritual challenges, and emotional toll William Bradford, Miles Standish, Samuel Fuller, William Brewster, and other Mayflower voyagers experienced as they struggled to found a Christian settlement in an untamed land. 117 pages, softcover.

The Denver public library system has a large selection of books on the Mayflower and the pilgrims. Click here to do a search. Click here for locations and hours.

Art Connection
A Mayflower Ship Craft Project
The pilgrims came to America on a ship called the Mayflower. This easy thanksgiving kids craft is great for younger children.

  • You will need brown, blue and white construction paper, a Styrofoam meat tray, a straw and some glue. Cover the Styrofoam with blue construction paper to symbolize the ocean. On one side of the waters ask a child to draw some land and write the word "Plymouth" on the land.
  • Easy Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids Help the kids to draw 2 boat shapes on brown construction paper. On both sides of the boat, ask the kids to write "Mayflower". Using some glue, stick both sides of the boat together and flatten the bottom. Stick the boat on the Styrofoam heading towards Plymouth. Using the white construction paper, draw two triangles and cut them out. Stick both triangles on the straw to make the ship's sails. Place the sails in the middle of the boat and glue it to the bottom. (

Draw the Mayflower
Click here to a wonderful link with a video showing how to draw the Mayflower!

Other Thanksgiving Lessons in this series:

Join me @ the Christian Home School Hub!


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