This project teaches geography and history. Students make a map of the Pilgrims’ trip in the Mayflower from Plymouth, England, to what is now the state of Massachusetts, USA. They also make a tiny replica of the Mayflower.
You can use a small Mayflower to trace the Pilgrims’ route to the New World, traveling from England to the northeastern coast of North America. Their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean lasted from Sept. 16, 1620 until Nov. 21, 1620.
- A piece of thick blue paper (like oaktag or posterboard)
- Green tempera paint
- Small scraps of white, yellow or gray paper (for the sails)
- Egg carton sections
- Toothpicks (two per boat)
- A small lump of modeling clay or playdough
Cut a piece of blue poster board for each student.
Have the student draw a map of the area of the Pilgrims’ trip (the Americas, Europe, etc.), using a pencil. As a guide, either use a large map of the world, or print out a map template.
The student can start by drawing the equator (a bit below the middle of the paper, since the Mayflower’s voyage was in the Northern Hemisphere). Then draw North and South America on the left side of the paper. Draw Europe, Asia, and Africa on the right side.
Using tempera paint, color the continents green. Let the paint dry.
Then using a dark marker, label: the continents, the oceans, the equator, the Pilgrims’ route, north, south, east, and west, etc.
Cut out a section of an egg carton to make the Pilgrims’ ship, the Mayflower.
Trim the egg carton segment to look like the hull of a boat.
Cut out a 2-inch square paper sail for the boat. Fold over a small portion where it will attach to a toothpick. Put glue on the flap that will fold over.
Put a toothpick on the fold line. Fold the paper over, forming a small sail.
Push a toothpick through the sail in two places (perpendicular to the other toothpick).
Put a small lump of modeling clay in the bottom of the boat and insert a toothpick mast into each one.
No one knows exactly what the Mayflower looked like, but sailing ships from that time usually had two large square sails (a foresail and a mainsail), a smaller, triangular sail at the rear (called a lateen), and other smaller sails. Unfortunately, only one sail fits well in the egg carton section.
You can now use your boat to trace the Pilgrims’ route to the New World; they traveled from England to the northeastern coast of North America..