The Pilgrims

Contributor: Marit Rheinheimer. Lesson ID: 12031

Did you ever get blamed for doing something and say, "It just happened?" Nothing happens without a cause! Let the Pilgrims teach you about cause-and-effect relationships while you learn a life lesson!


Social Studies

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Crammed into a boat for months on end — seasickness, storms, and saltwater.

  • Was it worth it?

Find out in this lesson about the Pilgrims!

Think about some activities you do every day.

  • Why do you do them?
  • What happens because you do them?

Because you eat food, you grow strong and healthy. Because you do your schoolwork, you learn!

When one thing we do causes something else to happen, we call that a cause-and-effect relationship. In this lesson, you will learn to identify the causes of events in history as we look at the life of the Pilgrims.

Hundreds of years ago, before America was a country, people started coming here from Europe to start a new and better life. Some of these people wanted to follow their own religion, but it was against the law for them to do so in England. So, they packed their things and set off on a difficult voyage, or journey, across the ocean.

Because of storms on the way, many became seasick. They landed in Massachusetts and built Plymouth Colony. We know these people as the Pilgrims. They risked their lives for freedom.

Let’s look at the cause-and-effect relationships in the paragraph above. Print the Cause and Effect Organizer, found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar, and get ready to practice!

  • Cause It was against the law to follow their own religion.
  • Effect They packed their things and set off on a voyage.

Notice that even though the cause happens first, it is not always written first.

  • Cause People wanted a new and better life.
  • Effect They started coming to America from Europe.

Your turn! Use your graphic organizer to identify the cause and the effect in this sentence:

  • Because of storms on the way, many became seasick.

Need help remembering the difference between cause and effect? Sing along with the Cause and Effect Song from A Girl from Texas:

Image - Video

Whenever something happens, there always is a reason.
You might discuss why it happened to understand the cause.

Cause and Effect (snap, snap),
Cause and Effect (snap, snap),
Cause and Effect, Cause and Effect,
Cause and Effect (snap, snap).

The cause makes something happen, it really gets things snappin'.
Just ask yourself what happened to understand the cause!

Repeat Chorus

You are probably curious about what life was actually like for the Pilgrims who lived aboard the Mayflower. Read the questions and answers provided in The Mayflower Voyage from Scholastic.

  • Were your questions answered?

Think about how you would have felt traveling with the Pilgrims.

  • What would cause you to be excited?
  • What would make you nervous?

Sail on over to the Got It? section to practice listening for cause-and-effect relationships!

Image - Button Next