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The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today Review by Jennifer Ladewig

Rebecca Locklear

The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today is a seven-lesson unit study on what exactly happened after the Mayflower landed on the coast of Cape Cod in 1620. The study not only talks about the happenings surrounding that time but then it connects to the present day. The Mayflower at Cape Cod is a paperback, spiral-bound book. The covers are thicker cardstock and are in color. The cost of the book varies depending on the version you choose. The Teachers Pay Teachers digital version is $8.50. The publisher's version pay by PayPal is $20.00 + $4.00 shipping. You can also purchase a copy on Amazon for $20.00 + shipping.

The Mayflower at Cape Cod is intended for 6th-12th grade. The unit study could most definitely be used in the homeschool, co-op, or school setting. There are many projects and activities that are specifically intended for a group setting. I think that most types of learners would benefit from this unit study. There are over 70 activities and 80 research areas in total for the student to choose from. Some of the activities included within the units include:

  • Art
  • Cooking
  • Drama
  • Games
  • Poetry
  • Group Work
  • Reading

The Lessons included within The Mayflower at Cape Cod are:

  1. First Encounter
  2. Exploration
  3. Landing
  4. Expeditions
  5. Natives
  6. After First Encounters
  7. Present Awareness

I am going to walk you through Lesson 3 entitled, The Mayflower Landing on Cape Cod. Each lesson begins with a Learning Objective. The objective for lesson three is,

“To recognize the role of King James I in part of the Mayflower story;

to justify the Mayflower’s new landing location and subsequent

contract; to analyze the survival situation and identify trees; to

recognize the issues of hunger, courage, and isolation as well as

needs versus wants; to make decisions about wilderness survival items.”

After the objective student then read the Lesson Story. The story, on average, is about three pages. After the student reads the story for the lesson, they then read the activities and research topics for the lesson. I guess depending on the situation the teacher may be the one to decide the activity and research topic. I let my daughter choose what she wanted to do. My daughter is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. For this lesson, my daughter chose to do, Leaf Art. She was instructed to choose a leaf shape from one of the indigenous trees on Cape Cod: oak, pine, holly, cedar, sassafras, or maple. Inside the leaf, she was then supposed to make a collage of drawings of items that would have represented the life of the Native Indians on Cape Cop in 1620. She drew an Indian headdress, a canoe, a hut (wetu), corn, fish jumping out of the water, a fire made with sticks for cooking, a bear, a bird, etc. We found a picture of a maple leaf online and enlarged it and printed it out. For our research project topic for Lesson 3 we chose, Oil Lamps. “As the alternative to candles, what did oil lamps look like in the 1600s? What animal fats were used as fuel and how were they obtained? What plants were also used for lamp fuel?”


Some of the other fun activities that my daughter did while working through the other lessons were:

  • Note Taking Through Drawing Comparing the 1400s, 1500s and the 1600s
  • Corn Game
  • Cranberry Muffins
  • Gratitude Tree Art
  • Rule Discussion

My daughter enjoyed this seven-lesson study. She enjoyed that the reading part of the lesson was not too long and that each lesson had fun activities that she got to do after she read. Many of the research topics were way above her grade level so she did not do many of them. My daughter learns better when she can reinforce what she has read through activities. The unit study model is a huge draw for me as a homeschooler. I liked the choices of activities and research topics that went along with this study.

I would recommend The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today to fellow homeschoolers and educators.

-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2020