Voyage of The Pilgrim Fathers

Ref: C2342733

2020 will be the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower which will be commemorated on both sides of the Atlantic. This session will explore the story of the Mayflower voyage and some of the stories of those who sailed in 1620 and their struggle to establish a new community in America. It will attempt to delve behind the traditional story and discover the reality of dangers and disasters which accompanied this most famous of the early attempts to plant European settlements on the shores of North America. The session features many intriguing characters - some heroic and others less so - as well as events which are still debated today.

Course aim

To study the story of the Mayflower voyage of 1620 and the adventures of some of those who sailed as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower and Pilgrim Fathers approaches.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • demonstrate an increased knowledge of the key events and personalities of the Mayflower voyage of 1620 and the beginnings of Plymouth Plantation.
  • use historical sources such as letters, journals, accounts, maps and drawings to illustrate this topic.
  • explain why the 'Pilgrims' hazarded their lives in voyaging to the New World.
  • discuss the ways in which the 'Pilgrims' and the Native Americans interacted with one another
  • discuss the ways in which key episodes of the early settlement of Plymouth Plantation is portrayed in popular culture, e.g. the story of Thanksgiving

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • The emphasis will be on student enquiry of source material (provided) combined with group discussion. The session will feature hand-outs to assist further study and learning.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • A notebook and pen would be useful. A folder in which to store the hand-outs issued each session would also be helpful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Browsing library shelves and/or the internet on topics like the Mayflower Pilgrims might be helpful. Rebecca Fraser’s "The Mayflower Generation" (2017) tells the story of the Winslow family’s crossing on the Mayflower and their survival in the New World and is an interesting account.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • The tutor will be happy to discuss possibilities for further studies with course members.

Download full course information sheet

Voyage of The Pilgrim Fathers

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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