Friday, June 19, 2020

Delving into the Story of The Mayflower at Cape Cod with an Ebook from Rebecca Locklear { A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

The children and I haven't been very consistent with our history lessons these last few months. So, when an opportunity arose to review The Mayflower at Cape Cod - Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today from Rebecca Locklear, I thought it would be fun to look at a well-known historical event from a different perspective. Though we had been learning about colonial times earlier this year, I figured a little review wouldn't hurt. What made it even more exciting was realizing 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage and the events we were going to delve into.

We received the ebook version of The Mayflower at Cape Cod. Though it was written for middle school and high school in mind (grades 6-12), I decided I would try to use it with all my children. After all, we have been used to doing the majority of our schooling together for years.

The Mayflower at Cape Cod is 74 pages long. It consists of seven lessons plus an introduction, several appendices, a list of the sources, an index, and acknowledgements. The introduction explains the specific time frame from history that the study focuses on, along with the purpose and goal of the study, plus an explanation of terminology, explanation for using the material, and an activity chart showing the different kinds of activities included for each lesson.

As you can see there are so many different activities to choose from, and in each lesson there is at least a page-worth of ideas listed for activities and research topics. If you wanted to use all the activity ideas, you could spend a lot of time on one lesson, or you could choose just a few depending on your children's interests.

Here's a list of the lessons:

  • Lesson 1: The First Encounter between Pilgrims and Native Indians
  • Lesson 2: Exploration Overview 
  • Lesson 3: The Mayflower Landing at Cape Cod
  • Lesson 4: Search Expeditions
  • Lesson 5: Native Indians
  • Lesson 6: After the First Encounter
  • Lesson 7: Present Awareness, Cross-Cultural Communication and Travel Tips, Native Indian Issues Today
Each lesson consists of objectives, background information, and the story broken into different headings. The first lesson also included a small section of people terms. There is then a list of activities which include the types in the chart above. And then there is a list of research topics. 

After the lessons you will find the four appendices:

  • Appendix A: Chronology of Events on Cape Cod 
  • Appendix B: Mayflower Statistics 
  • Appendix C: Answers
  • Appendix D: Seafood and Fowl Game Cards

O appreciate that the lesson stories aren't too lengthy, being about 2-4 pages long. However, there are some great details shared that are beyond what I had been taught. For example, I loved learning about the events of the first encounter between the Native Indians and Pilgrims. We had fun examining the First Encounter painting that is in the Plymouth Museum in Provincetown, MA. One of the activities was to find the errors by comparing the painting to the details we learned in the story. 

I think what struck me most about this, is how, if something as simple as the fact that there should have been six inches of snow on the ground can be shown incorrectly, what else about history has been changed without us realizing.

The children chose to try their hand at painting/drawing a more accurate depiction of the encounter.

There were several other activities we could have chosen from, but we chose the activity that was the easiest for the younger children.

And then of course there are the research topics. I chose to have only the two older girls worry about the research projects for now. For just the first lesson, there were eight different topics the student could choose from.

  • Combat (tactics of Native Indians attacking with bows and arrows)
  • Leiden (studying the time of the Separatists in Leiden)
  • Shallop (learning about this common small boat from the 1600')
  • Ships and Flowers (naming ships after flowers)
  • Space on the Mayflower
  • Wampanoag
  • Weapons (examining English and Native weapons)
  • Word "Pilgrim"
Tabitha chose to do some research on the shallop.

I appreciated that Lesson 2 did a bit of backtracking to help us understand the what influenced the events in the 1600's. I then had the children complete the "A Moment in Time" Art project.

When we start our summer school session after our short break, we will be continuing this study. I look forward to having the children learn more about the pilgrims' scouting expeditions and what they found, and discussing their thought process when it came to such things as stealing the Native Indians' food. And we will also be learning more about the Wampanoag, which really intrigues me. And then we will learn more about what happened after that "first" encounter.

I love that we can pick and choose what activities we will complete. It has made it that much easier to include the younger children. The older girls can read the story on their own, or listen in when I read to Harold and Hannah.

I really appreciate the way Rebecca Locklear delves into both sides of the story. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up I wasn't taught the Native Indians' side of the story. With everything going on in our world right now, I think it is very important to understand the whole story, to know the truth of our history. I really wish there was a way to know exactly what happened without the events being colored by each sides' prejudices and perspectives. But being able to see both sides does help to realize what we have been taught isn't the complete truth.

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