The Mayflower Sets Sail

The date is September 6, 1620. The Mayflower, a ship normally used to carry cargo, not people, set sail for the place we now call America. After two months at sea, the passengers were grateful to finally land, but the long winter ahead would have a major impact on their group. Of course, the arrival of the Pilgrims would have even more of an impact on the Native North American Indians, changing the Natives’ way of life forever…

Thank you for being a part of the Professional Educators Network. We hope you enjoy this first installment of The National Theatre for Children’s newest project. Please watch the educational video with your students, download the poster by this month’s artist, Kestrel. Welcome to History’s ARTifacts.

Meet the Artist: Kestrel


Kestrel is a concept artist, designer and illustrator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Although he considered majoring in animation, Kestrel decided to stick with illustration because it’s what he does best. He likes to draw imaginary worlds, creatures and characters to create stories that encourage wonder. In his free time, Kestrel likes to create paintings and music.

History’s ARTifacts Student Challenges:

  • Imagine yourself and your family on the Mayflower and write a diary entry for each day of one week. What are the best things about the trip? What are the worst things about the trip? How will your family adapt to life on the Mayflower?
  • The Mayflower was a cramped uncomfortable ship to travel in. What if you had the chance to design and build the Mayflower instead? Pair up with a classmate and design the perfect ship together. What will the outside of the ship look like? What will the inside look like? What will make your ship unique?
  • America has been home to many famous immigrants, from scientists like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, to entertainers like Natalie Portman and Drake. Choose a famous immigrant and make a collage that shows the highlights of their life and their contributions to the United States.