Pilgrims survival challenge

Throughout history people have endured some tough times including war, famine, disease, plague and flooding.  At the moment, the current situation with the Coronavirus outbreak can seem strange and frightening. It can also be very boring having to stay at home for so long, even though it is helping people stay safe.

However, spare for a thought for the Mayflower Pilgrims who, 400 years ago endured all sorts of hardships when they sailed from England to America in 1620.

  • The journey was treacherous and lasted 66 days, 102 passengers were packed into a small space and there were no toilets, no electricity and no fresh water.
  • When they arrived, they were starving and they did not know how to grow crops very well in this new land.
  • Nearly half of the passengers died in the first winter, a lot of those who died were women as they chose to feed their husbands and children before themselves.

Some of the leading pilgrims on board the Mayflower ship, originated from Nottinghamshire.

Today, over 10 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to the passengers that were on the Mayflower.

To help mark this year’s 400th anniversary, our Pilgrims Survival Challenge is a fun and exciting, self-guided resource for schools or organised groups but it can also be adapted for use at home. It introduces young people to the fascinating story of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

It engages children with the difficulties that the Pilgrims faced on their journey and the trials of having to survive in extreme conditions.

You can download the resource for free here:

Description Document
Use the overview booklet as your step-by-step guide on how to complete the Pilgrims Survival Challenge – feel free to adapt it as you wish. All the associated resource sheets can be found below. Overview instruction booklet [PDF]
Use the certificate to reward those who complete the Pilgrim Survival Challenge. Pilgrim Challenge Certificate [PDF]
Use the Timeline events cards as instructed in the overview booklet to introduce where the Pilgrims story fits into history. Resource 1 Timeline Events Cards [PDF]
A full list of the passengers on board the Mayflower Resource 2 Mayflower Passenger List [PDF]
Use the cards within this resource as instructed in the overview booklet to study what the Pilgrims took with them to the New World. Resource 3 What did they take with them [PDF]
Have a go at the Mayflower True or False quiz Resource 4 True or False Quiz [PDF]
Sing Sea Shanties as the crew of the mayflower would have done. Resource 5 Sea Shanty [PDF]
Make your own Mayflower out of paper. Resource 6 Mayflower Origami Boat [PDF]
Use the Den building resource to build an effective shelter Resource 7 Den Building Instructions [PDF]
Make your own Cornbread as the Pilgrims would have done. Resource 8 Corn Breadmaking [PDF]
Instructions on making your own popcorn over an open fire Resource 9 Popcorn making [PDF]
Learn more about wild food and medicine that helped the Pilgrims Resource 10 Wild medicine and food walk [PDF]
Have a go at traditional Pilgrim and Native American games Resource 11 Traditional Games [PDF]
Practise your skills in Native American Face painting Resource 12 Native American Face painting [PDF]
Use this resource to understand how to make a Native American Head dress Resource 13 Native American Head dressmaking [PDF]
Learn more about Native American Jewellery Resource 14 Native American Jewellery [PDF]
Make your own Pilgrim or Native American peg doll Resource 15 Make a peg doll [PDF]
William Brewster Commemorative Booklet 2020.pdf [PDF]

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