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DAR Essay Contest 2019-20

DAR Topic 2019-20

Frances Bland Randolph Chapter NSDAR


"The Voyage of the Mayflower"



2020 marks the 400th Anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower and the founding of the Plymouth Colony. Imagine you are one of the passengers on the Mayflower. Knowing what materials were available in 1620, what would you have packed to prepare for the trip and starting a new life in the wilderness? After experiencing more than two months at sea then finally landing at Plymouth Colony on November 9, 1620, do you think you would have made different choices and why?


Rough Drafts should be completed the week of September 27, 2019

Final Due Date: Wednesday October 23, 2019


Research sites for information to get you going:


Provisions List


Mayflower Passenger List


Ages, Occupations, etc.


Interview with John Alden - Scholastic


Interview with Elizabeth Hopkins


Letters from a Pilgrim Child


Interview with Desire Minter


About the Voyage - Scholastic


A Crewman on the Mayflower - Robert Coppin




Virtual Field Trip


Pilgram Hall Museum


History of Massachusetts


Replica of the Mayflower


Illustration of the cargo ship


Land of the Brave


What was life like on the Mayflower (video)


Mayflower Virtual Tour (video)


Plimoth Plantation




Fun Facts about the Mayflower (video)


Plymouth Colony Explained (video)


Pilgram Life (Scholastic News Video)


Another tour of the Mayflower (the Mayor's tour)




I encourage you to consider asking yourself a few questions for preplanning:

  • Who are you as a traveler? Wife/husband/child/servant?
  • What materials are available for travelers and convenient to take on a ship in 1620?
  • What would you/did you use your materials for?
  • What was it like traveling for 2 months at sea?  What do you wish you had brought that you didn't bring?
  • Once you landed, was there anything else you wish you would have brought, also?


Writing the Bibliography can be tricky... students need to retain information from the resources they use to take notes. Then, they can format their bibliographies.


There are a lot more pages out there to help with Bibliographies, but these should get you started and keep you on track.

Here are some Bibliography Generators - put your information into it and they will generate your format:

•Citation Machine:




Plagiarism Scavenger Hunt


Check for Plagiarism: (this is a paid site, but you can search Google for another option)


Sample for Title Page:


“The Voyage of the Mayflower”








Hopewell, VA 23860






Carter G. Woodson Middle School

Grade X


Frances Bland Randolph Chapter of NSDAR





xxx words



Rubric for DAR Essay



Title Page

  • Title of Topic – “The Voyage of the Mayflower
  • Contestant’s full name, address, phone, email
  • Contestant’s Grade level
  • Name of sponsoring DAR Chapter
  • Number of words in essay (600-1000)


  • At least 3 Sources
  • Sources are formatted correctly


Historical and geographic accuracy (everything is reasonable) - Includes known materials available in 1620 for Englishmen

Stayed on topic - the student describes what you have packed to prepare for the trip/voyage (why did you choose those items?)

Includes information about the two months at sea and how the materials were used, and what  else you wish you would have brought

Organization of essay (beginning, middle, end)

Spelling and punctuation – including proper dialogue usage

Correct grammar and formatting throughout (verb tenses are the same, paragraph indentions)

The student discusses their decisions in a character's point of view


All Essays 600-1000 words

Times New Roman font 12-14, or handwritten in black ink

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