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Six Activities to Celebrate Mayflower Day

On September 16, the nation will celebrate the day where 102 pilgrims left Plymouth, England, and set sail on The Mayflower to the New World. 

With these activities, students will explore how the discovery and development of North America transformed history. Here are six activities teachers can use in their classrooms to celebrate Mayfower Day. 

  1. Mayflower Math: This lesson helps educators teach a lesson about The Mayflower using mathematics. With this activity, students will receive a worksheet where they can read a short account on the story of The Mayflower. Here they will receive a set of numbers, such as the amount of people, time spent on the ship, and other numerical data. Students are then required to fill out the sheet answering mathematical questions using division, multiplication, graphs, charts, and measurements. 
  2. Traveling on the Mayflower: With this lesson, students will be able to identify characteristics of travel on the Mayflower. Before the lesson, teachers should educate their students on key facts about the pilgrims, and why they came to America. Teachers will then tell students they are going to role-play and pretend they are pilgrims and go through the entire traveling practice. After the role-play, have students write four to five sentences about what it was like on the Mayflower. 
  3. Paper Bag Pilgrim Dolls: With this activity, the younger crowd can create a front and back Thanksgiving Pilgrim Doll. The source, ProTeacher, offers templates, but students can also feel free to draw their own pilgrims. Teachers should start teaching their students about the pilgrims and their adventures on The Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving before or during the craft. 
  4. The Crossing of the Mayflower: After a short lesson on The Mayflower and the journey, have students complete this worksheet. Here students will be given a map of the Mayflower, and answer basic questions based off of the lesson. 
  5. The Mayflower Compact: This lesson will teach students how the pilgrims were influenced to develop a new community and American democracy. Teachers will use primary sources to explain how the Mayflower Compact was the first written governmental document in the United States as well as the story of the pilgrims through a letter by Pastor John Robinson. Students will work in groups to translate the texts and reflect how the story of the pilgrims is about community and the common good. 
  6. The Mayflower Passengers: After this lesson, students will learn why the pilgrims left for America and learn about the Mayflower. Teachers will start the lesson by asking students what "pilgrim" means, and list their ideas on a piece of chart paper for later discussion. Then, after explaining the significance of the Mayflower have students list reasons why the pilgrims came to America. Then, discuss the hardships the passengers had to go through on the voyage, and write a journal entry on what they learned and how they would feel as a Mayflower passenger. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor