Pilgrim Pen Pals

You and your students will love this unique writing exercise! This activity meets the writing standards and will align with your history lessons about the pilgrims, Native Americans, the Mayflower, and the first Thanksgiving. You can even use this activity to assess students’ understanding and knowledge.

Instructions: Imagine you were a passenger on the Mayflower. Now that you are in America and have started making a new home, write a letter to friend back in England. Tell about something that has happened since you left nine months ago.

Tip: Diversify this lesson by having some students write from a Native American’s point of view. These students can write letters or diary entries to show their understanding, which will give a complete perspective of the events during this time period.

Meet the Common Core State Standards with this Activity

Pilgrim Text Message | Remedia Publications
  • Students should begin by reading informational text to gain knowledge about this time period. (CC.R.I.10) 
  • Have students use the parts of a friendly letter correctly, including: date, greeting, body, closing, and signature. (CC.L.2)
  • Ask students to write their letters as narratives. They should  develop imaginary, yet realistic, experiences using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. (CC.W.2 and CC.W.3)
  • Give students time to research, reflect, and revise their letters. (CC.W.10)
  • Require students to do additional research. Have them draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis and reflection while writing their letters. (CC.W.7-9)
  • Students should explain events, ideas, or concepts, including what happened and why, based on specific information they find. (CC.R.I.3)
  • Help students use technology to type and publish their letters. (CC.W.6) 
    • Students can type and print their letters, then display them on a bulletin board display (see Bulletin Board details below).
    • Students can create a Fakebook account for their fictitious pilgrim. Learn more about Fakebook.
    • Students can write a text message conversation between two pilgrims, a pilgrim and a Native American, or a pilgrim and his friend in England using this SMS Generator.

Students will have a blast writing Pilgrim Pen Pal letters & I love meeting the standards! via @remediapub { Tweet This }

Bulletin Board: Pilgrim Pen Pals

Create a bulletin board to display students’ letters.Pilgrim Pen Pals Bulletin Board | Remedia Publications

Use this pattern to make a pilgrim boarder.

Pilgrim Bulletin Board Pattern | Remedia Publications

Cut construction paper strips 3”x18”. Fold in half. Fold in half again. Place pattern on paper, trace, and cut while still folded. Open and decorate the pilgrims. Students can do this fun activity after all of the hard work they’ve put into their letters.


Need step-by-step activities to improve writing skills?

We’ve got you covered! Our Writing Basics Series has 8 books to help you improve one writing skill at a time. Including our Writing Letters, which is filled with lessons that teach skills needed to write business, invitational, thank you, and friendly letters.

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