Pilgrims' Journey
Pilgrims' Journey

Pilgrims' Journey

I can explain who the Pilgrims were and why they left Europe, as well as...

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In this lesson, students learn about the pilgrims and who they were. They will learn why they fled Europe and learn all about their journey across the Atlantic to America and what the Mayflower was like.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to explain who the Pilgrims were and why they left Europe, as well as describe their journey on The Mayflower.


This lesson will open with an attention-catching video with lyrics! Your students will discuss the question: “In the song ‘America,’ Samual Francis Smith called America ‘land of the Pilgrim’s Pride.’ Who were these pilgrims?”


Explain how the Pilgrims set out on a journey to cross the Atlantic in two ships: the Speedwell and the Mayflower. After the Speedwell started leaking water, both ships had to return to England. Once back at port, it was decided that The Mayflower would sail alone. Discuss the different groups of passengers who were on the ship and that not all were Saints. Share some interesting facts about The Mayflower Ship.

Next, the class will get to view an actual cross-section view of a ship like the Mayflower. They will move “passengers” around the ship to get an idea of the cramped conditions which were endured by the crew and passengers. Each main part of The Mayflower is named and students will click each part to get more information, finishing with a chance to test their memory by moving the labels to the correct places on the ship.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions.


Close the lesson with a final activity in which students draw The Mayflower (using step-by-step instructions).

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