PILGRIM COURAGE: FROM MAYFLOWER TO FIRST HARVEST: STUDY GUIDE
prepared by Cathy Kaemmerlen
S53H2a, S53H2c, SS3H3a, SS3H3c
Follow the story of the courageous pilgrim voyage of 1620 from England to the New World, continuing through the first year at Plimouth Colony, as told through the eyes of Mary Allerton Cushman, 4 years old at the time of the pilgrimage and the last living survivor of the Mayflower passengers. Hear firsthand what is was like to spend 65 days at sea; the struggle to start a new settlement and survive the first winter; the impact of the Mayflower Compact and making peace with the Indians; the first harvest feast. Performed as a first person narrative, in authentic period costuming. Specially designed for 4th or 5th grade curriculum. “One small candle may light a thousand…out of small beginnings greater things have been produced.” William Bradford.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, professional actress, dancer, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for her ability to make history come to life. A performer and “creator of shows” since she can remember, she has toured in schools coast to coast, since receiving a BA in English/elementary education and an MFA in dance performance/choreography/theater at the University of Wisconsin. She tours through Young Audiences of Atlanta, the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County SAP, has received numerous grants and honors, and is the author of two non-fiction history books with The History Press.
Background on Art Form
Telling stories is an oral tradition, dating back to when mankind first developed a language or form of communication. Storytelling is a universal way of passing down information to be saved and remembered for generations to come. It is an interactive art form in which the storytellers’ passion for the story, material, and information, is passed on to the audience, who sorts through, interprets, stores, and synthesizes what is heard.
Teachers, please read this to your students:
Today we are going to see a program by actress/storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen in which she portrays Mary Allerton Cushman, one of the passengers on the Mayflower, the ship that brought 100 pilgrims to Massachussetts in 1620. Mary was only 4 at the time and had the honor of being the last survivor of the Mayflower voyage. We are going to learn what it was like to go on a long and difficult voyage to a new, undeveloped land; to face many difficulties to establish a settlement there; and what it was like to create a document called the Mayflower Compact which many people say was a forerunner to our Constitution. We’ll learn what life was like for the pilgrims, what they ate, what they wore, how they talked, how they learned to make peace with the Wampanoag Indians, and about their first celebratory harvest.
Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students:
Why did the Pilgrim Separatists find it necessary to split from the Church of England?
Why did they go to Holland?
Why did they decide to take a risk and come to the New World?
Why did the Pilgrims leave so late on their voyage? Was this a wise thing to do or did they have no choice?
Would you have brought your wife and family with you, or send for them later?
What do you think it would have been like, travelling on rough seas, cramped into close quarters for nine weeks? What fears might you have had? Would you have worried that the Mayflower had no companion ship?
How would you feel sighting land? Would you be scared as well as excited?
What fears/thoughts might you have had about the Native Americans you were bound to meet?
Vocabulary to look at before and after:
Pilgrim: people on a mission trip, inspired by faith to take this trip
Separatists: those who broke from the Church of England, desiring to create a new church
Saints: those on the Mayflower who were Separatists
Strangers: those on the Mayflower who were not Separatists
mortar and pestle: kitchen device used to crush and grind ingredients, especially spices
thatch: roofing material made out of dried straw or reeds that sheds away the water
wetu: a Wampanoag home
waistcoat: women’s jacket usually with buttons
doublets: man’s snug fitting jacket shaped and fitted
Shift: an undergarment that can be used as a nightgown
shad: type of fish used for fertilizing plants like corn
Pottage: a thick stew or porridge
Samp: cracked corn cooked to mush
Dally: to dawdle or linger
Pipken: a sauce pan
Trencher: wooden plate shaped like a trench, usually shared with a trench mate
Voider: plate or bowl used to place all crumbs and bones in
Hasty Pudding: cornmeal or oatmeal mush
Frumenty: soft sweet dessert cooked from whole wheat, like a pudding
Succotash: a one pot dish slow cooked with steak or chicken with corn, beans, potatoes, and diced turnips
Indian pudding: dessert made of corn meal sweetened with molasses
Muck: to fertilize with straw and animal droppings
Game of chase: to fetch something
Good morrow: hello
How do you fare?: how are you?
Fare thee well: goodbye
Pray remember me: farewell until we meet again
Mouser: a cat
Backwards: arsy varsy
Pilgrims featured in the show:
Issac Allerton(father), Mary (mother)*, Bartholomew (son), Remember (daughter), Mary (daughter)
Dr. Samuel Fuller, William Butten (servant)*
Captain Myles Standish, Rose Standish (wife)*
William Mullins (father)*, Alice (mother)*, Priscilla (daughter), Joseph (son)*
William Bradford, Dorothy Bradford (wife)*
William Brewster, Mary (wife), Love (son), Wrestling (son)
John Carver*, Catherine Carver (wife)*
James Chilton (father)*, Susanna (wife)*, Mary (daughter)
John Tilley (father)*, Ann (wife)*, Elizabeth (daughter)
William White (father)*, Susanna (wife), Resolved (son), Peregrine (son)
Edward Winslow, Elizabeth Winslow*
John Billington (father), Eleanor (wife), John (son), Francis (son)
Stephen Hopkins (father), Elizabeth (wife), Constance (daughter), Giles (son), Damaris (daughter), Oceanus (son)
* those who died before the first harvest festival
Indian Vocabulary and Important Native Americans:
Wampanoag Nation: the Indian Nation that lived in the area where the Pilgrims settled
Nausets and Pokanokets: the two tribes that made up the Wampanoag Nation
Sachem: leader of the tribe
Massasoit: sachem of the Pokanokets
Aspinet: sachem of the Nausets
Samoset: originally from an Algonquin tribe in Maine, kidnapped like Squanto by English Captain Hunt; on his return, was visiting with Massasoit and was the first Indian to “visit” the Pilgrims
Squanto: English speaking Indian who had been kidnapped and sent to Spain as a slave; upon his return he discovered his community had been wiped out so he went to live with Massasoit; later lived with the Pilgrims at Plimouth, the site of his old community, and taught them survival techniques.
Patuxet: Indian community that Squanto belonged to and was wiped out by a plague
Warm up Questions for meeting the Georgia Performance Standards for “Listening/Speaking/Viewing”:
Describe the perfect audience.
What are some of our class rules for being good listeners?
How do we show someone we appreciate their visit to our school or classroom?
How does being part of an audience help make you a good citizen?
What are some examples of bad audience behavior or attitudes?
How does a negative audience member effect your enjoyment of a show or performance?
How would this make the performer feel?
How do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
What does William Bradford mean by the saying: “Out of small beginnings, greater things have been produced?”
What does he mean by saying: “Do not lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”
Why do you think writing and signing the Mayflower Compact was so important before the Pilgrims left the ship?
Is it true or false that the Pilgrims wore tall hats and shoes with buckles, dressed in only black and white and called their Harvest Feast Thanksgiving?
Why do you think it was so important to make friends and peace with the Indians?
What do you think caused the peace to be broken after 54 years?
If you were a Pilgrim, what would it take to survive that first year?
What does this mean to you: “We Pilgrims discovered that the great work of living is learning to live with others.”?
Why do you think some of the Pilgrims survived?
Were William Bradford, William Brewster, Edward Winslow, and Myles Standish good leaders and role models? Why do you think so?
Do you think it was easy at first for the Saints and Strangers to get along? What compromises had to be made?
Some Pilgrim Recipes:
Use very lean flank steak that is partially frozen so that it will be easier to cut. Cut the meat into thin strips about 2 Inches wide. Dip the strips in teriyaki sauce. Arrange the seasoned strips of meat in a single layer on wire racks, like cake cooking racks or oven racks and place a sheet of aluminum foil beneath to catch the drippings. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and then turn back to 120 degrees. Place the meat in the oven, leaving the oven door open. After five or six hours, turn the strips over and continue drying at the same temperature for four more hours. When dry enough, jerky is shriveled and black, and is brittle when cooled. Jerky can also be dried in the sun over a long period of time (Pilgrim way.)
1 cup cracked wheat 1/8 tsp ground mace
1 quart water ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup milk ¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream 2 egg yolks
½ tsp salt additional brown sugar
In a large pot, bring the water to boil and add the wheat. Lower heat to simmer, cover and continue to cook for ½ hour or until soft. Drain off all the water and add the milk, cream, salt, mace, cinnamon and sugar. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed (20 to 30 minutes). In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and slowly stir ½ cup of the wheat mixture into the yolks. Then stir the yolk mixture into the pot, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve sprinkled with brown sugar.
3 lbs corned beef 1 lb. turnips
2 ½ lbs. fowl (chicken) 1qt. corn, hulled
2 lbs potatoes ½ qt navy beans
Boil corned beef and fowl together for three hours and save the liquid. Stew beans for 4 hours. Mash beans. Boil potatoes and turnip in liquid from the boiled meat until done. Dice meat, potatoes, and turnips into ½ inch cubes. Add beans and hulled corn to meat, turnip and potatoes and bring to boil.
This meal represents a typical feast as it might have been enjoyed by the early New Plimouth colonists. According to custom, dishes were placed on the table and guests served and carved for themselves. Since forks were unknown, eating utensils were limited to a personal knife, a spoon, and a large napkin, used not only to clean the mouth and fingers but also to pick up hot morsels of food. Guests took the food they wished from each serving dish and ate it immediately or they placed portions on their own trenchers (wooden plates that were frequently shared with a “trencher mate.”)
IF YOU SAILED ON THE MAYFLOWER IN 1620 by Ann McGovern, Scholastic Press, 1991
ACROSS THE WIDE DARK SEA: THE MAYFLOWER JOURNEY by Jean Van Leeuwen, Dial Books for Young Readers, c 1995.
THREE YOUNG PILGRIMS by Cheryl Harness, Bradbury Press, NY, 1992
SARAH MORTON’S DAY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PILGRIM GIRL by Kate Walters, Scholastic Inc, NY, 1989
SAMUEL EATON’S DAY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PILGRIM BOY by Kate Walters, Scholastic, 1993
TAGENUM’S DAY: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WAMPANOAG BOY by Kate Walters, Scholastic, 1996
THE WAMPANOAG: A True Book by Kevin Cunningham, 2011
PILGRIM VOICES: OUR FIRST YEAR IN THE NEW WORLD edited by Connie and Peter Roop, Walker and Co, NY, 1995
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING FEAST by Joan Anderson, Clarion Books, NY, 1984
THE PILGRIM’S FIRST THANKSGIVING by Ann McGovern, Scholastic, Inc. 1973
DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE PILGRIMS by Kenneth C. Davis, Harper Collins Pubs., 1993
MAYFLOWER by Nathaniel Philbrick. Viking Press, 2006.
THE PILGRIMS AND PLYMOUTH COLONY by Feenie Ziner, pub by Am. Heritage Pub. Co, Inc. NY, 1961
MOURT’S RELATION: A JOURNAL OF THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH from the original text of 1622, Applewood Books, Bedford, MA , 1963
SAINTS AND STRANGERS by George F. Willison, Reynal and Hitchcock, NY, 1945
THE STORY OF THE OLD COLONY OF NEW PLYMOUTH by Samuel Eliot Morison, Alfred A Knopf, 1956 (ancestress: Priscilla Mullins)
PILGRIM COURAGE adapted and edited by E Brooks Meredith and based on the diaries of William Bradford and Edward Winslow, Little Brown and Col, 1962
PLYMOUTH COLONY: ITS HISTORY AND PEOPLE 1620-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Ancestry Publ., Salt Lake City, 1986
SQUANTO, FRIEND OF THE PILGRIMS by Peter Buchard, Scholastic Press
THE MIGHTY MASTIFF OF THE MAYFLOWER, by Peter Arenstam and Karen Busch, Scholastic Press
DID PILGRIMS REALLY WEAR BLACK AND WHITE by Connie and Peter Roop, Scholastic Press
Websites and DVDs:
THE HISTORY CHANNEL: DESPERATE VOYAGE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE MAYFLOWER. DVD. 2006