A Modern-Day Mayflower
Snack: In honor of the 102 Pilgrims
who came to what is now America on the Mayflower,
count out 102 (shelled) sunflower seeds, and while you're munching them, think
about how the Pilgrims were like "seeds" for this nation. How can YOU be a
"seed" for the U.S.A. of the future?
Paper and pencil
was the sailing ship that transported 102 Pilgrims from England to the New
World, landing in Plymouth, Mass., in November 1620.
Most everybody knows that. A lot of
people know that it took 66 days to travel the 3,000 miles, and that space was
very cramped on the ship, which measured about 100 feet long by 25 feet wide.
But did you know the Mayflower was never meant to transport passengers?
Instead of humans, it usually took goods from England
to France, and wine back to England.
Did you know the ship's doctor was Dr. Heale?
What's a fo'c'sle?
Did you know a violent mid-ocean storm knocked the
ship off course, and instead of landing in Virginia with its moderate weather,
the Pilgrims literally settled for, and settled in, cold and wintry
Massachusetts, by mistake?
You can learn a lot more about that first
American epic, the Mayflower, by browsing through the websites, below. Take
notes! When you feel you know enough about the Mayflower's voyage, here's an offbeat assignment:
Invent a New World for the 21st
Century - a brand-new continent which suddenly sprang up out of the ocean.
what the land is like
what animals and plants
how people there might
get their food
what their homes are
like and how they made them
what plants and animals
what the water source
whether there are
humans already living there.
Now come up with a name for a new Mayflower - a modern-day ship. Describe
the ship. Draw a picture of it with colored pencils.
You get to send a boatload of
Americans to this new land to populate it, the way the Mayflower populated the
newborn colony in America.
Who would you include among the first 102 people? Think
about the kinds of skills and personalities it would be good to include in a
Write down real names of people, or the types of jobs
or skills they might have. You know: "a rock star," "a farmer," "a carpenter,"
"my soccer coach," and so on. Your list may or may not include your own family,
friends, classmates and teammates; it's up to you.
Make your "passenger list" for a
modern-day Mayflower, and then write a story about the journey there, and the
settlement's first year.
Here are those Mayflower and
First Thanksgiving websites to give you some ideas about the real Pilgrims who
came to America, and the imaginary ones you're going to invent: