Stories of the Pilgrims {Free eBook & Activities}

When we were homeschooling, Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Blanche Pumphrey was a perpetual Thanksgiving read-aloud in our home. The author artfully weaves the stories of the Pilgrims’ journey beginning with the persecution they faced in Scrooby, England, to their journey to Holland and their adjustment to a new culture, to their voyage across the ocean to the shores of America where eventually a Thanksgiving would be celebrated — all in a way that is interesting to young readers.

Stories of the Pilgrims {Free eBook & Activities}

You’ll find many different editions of this book in publication, but the original published in 1912 and beautifully illustrated by Lucy Fitch Perkins (author and illustrator of the Twins series) is in the public domain.

Stories of the Pilgrims is a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving learning, sidetrips, and celebrations — and it’s free!

Free eBook

  • There are 44 short chapters. Divide the number of chapters by the number of days you will have available to read the book aloud up to Thanksgiving.
  • After reading each chapter, have each child provide an oral or written narration depending on his age. You’ll find several narration helps below.
  • Map the voyage of the Pilgrims from Holland to Plymouth.
  • Make a timeline of events beginning in Scrooby through the first Thanksgiving.
  • Enjoy other primary source documents and stories. See resources below.

Additional Resources
30 Narration Ideas

30 Narration Ideas
Ideas for encouraging interesting narrations after each reading or chapter.


Plymouth Rock
Google map view.

The Pilgrims’ Voyage: A Map and The Mayflower
More crafty project from Enchanted Learning.

Use this interactive at ReadWriteThink to create a timeline.

You Are There: The Sailing of the Mayflower
Originally aired in 1947 and was narrated by CBS news reporter John Daly. The You Are There series of radio broadcasts were dramatizations of historical events presented as live radio coverage. Fun tie-in.  (Right-click and “save as” to download.)


Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret B. Pumphrey
Paperback version with original illustrations for those interested.


Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
Family favorite by a favorite author that tells the story of the Indian who befriended the Pilgrims.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans
Thanksgiving Day {Holiday Helps}

Thanksgiving {Holiday Helps}
Many, many books, units, lessons, crafts, and printables.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Simple paper for illustrating or drawing at the top with room for narrations or copywork below.

World Map
EduPlace map for charting the voyage of the Mayflower.

Stories of the Pilgrims Notebooking pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

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