Imagine leaving your home and setting out for a new, largely unknown world. Imagine taking only a few clothes and tools – no toys, no books, and certainly no video games. Now imagine traveling in the belly of a small boat with 100 other people. There is no privacy and only a small pot to use as a toilet! You are seasick most of the voyage, but when you feel well enough to eat, you eat plain food, such as hard biscuits, dried fish, or unsweetened oatmeal. Welcome to life aboard the Mayflower!
In 1620, 102 Pilgrims sailed to the New World on the Mayflower. They were seeking a place to worship God as they wanted. Most of them paid dearly for their beliefs, not surviving the first winter.
Questions and Answers
Question: What did the Pilgrims do to entertain themselves on the Mayflower?
Answer: The Pilgrims sometimes walked above deck during calm weather, but they generally remained in the cramped quarters below. They were often sick from being tossed in the ocean’s waves and were sometimes thrown against the walls in stormy weather. They probably talked quietly or played games. John Howland, a servant to John Carver, was thrown into the sea during a storm. He grabbed a rope trailing in the water and crew pulled him aboard. Lucky thing, since more than 2 million Americans are descended from him, including George Bush, George W. Bush, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Mormon leader, Joseph Smith.
Visit Scholastic for an interactive tour of the Mayflower and life in New England.
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