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Children on the Mayflower



Children on the Mayflower
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.12

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    hardtack, seasick, shallop, pneumonia, overboard, stoves, moldy, cargo, coastline, armor, lower, trailer, meals, supplies, gunpowder, journey
     content words:    Plymouth Harbor, William Halsall, New World, Captain Jones, William Butten


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Children on the Mayflower
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Caption: "Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor" by William Halsall, 1882
 
2     The Mayflower was the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World. The Mayflower was a cargo ship. It was made to carry cargo, not people. But it did carry 102 passengers and about thirty crew members from England to Massachusetts.
 
3     The Pilgrims wanted to be free to worship God in their own way. The Church of England wanted everyone to worship its way. A person could not choose to join another church. The Pilgrims were looking for a better place to live and raise their children with religious freedom. For a while they had lived in Holland, but it was strange to them. They could not own land there. They didn't want their children to grow up speaking the Dutch language. So they decided to come to the New World.
 
4     They left England on September 16, 1620. About thirty children and teenagers were on the ship. Some of them came with their parents. Some came with other relatives. Some were servants. One new passenger was born on the voyage. His parents named him Oceanus.
 
5     At first, the children were probably very excited about starting on such a long journey! It probably seemed very exciting to them! The long trip took sixty-six days. The children probably got very bored. They didn't have much room to move around. There was not a lot of fresh air. At night, there were a few lanterns for light. Some people had their Bibles for reading. In the daytime, there was work to be done. As food began to be scarce, people had the same meals over and over. Many of the passengers were seasick. Do you think they might have asked, "Are we there yet?"

Paragraphs 6 to 15:
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