After what seemed like forever, my parents and brother arrived in Boston in early September, 1718.
There was a mixture of different feelings, but mostly people were very excited to see what this new world was like. It was much bigger and noisier than Londonderry.
About one hundred families landed in Boston.
Very quickly, it was clear that they were not as welcome in Boston as they thought they would be. The people living there saw the new arrivals as extra mouths to feed and food was very expensive. The families were not allocated the land they had been promised. This was disheartening after such a long journey. The great hopes everyone had for the future were dashed. My parents felt deflated. They didn’t want to stay where they weren’t wanted.
About a week after arriving in Boston, the Maccallum set sail again, travelling north to a place called Casco Bay. From there the ship sailed up the Kennebec River. My parents came ashore at Merrymeeting Bay in Maine.
The families aboard the Robert also left Boston and journeyed north, spending the winter in Casco Bay. In the spring, they sailed up the Merrimack River, before moving inland to an area called Nutfield, which they renamed Londonderry. The Reverend McGregor, who had spent the winter preaching in Dracut, joined them there.
- Ask your pupils to read Arrival.
- Encourage your pupils to make a list of the essential items that the McFadden family will need to start life in this new country. Ask the class to prioritise the items and identify any challenges the family might encounter. Ask how they think the McFadden family’s priorities might differ from those of a family today.
- Ask your class to read or listen to New Beginnings a poem by Tony Walsh (Resource 3.1). Then encourage them to use the phrase ‘New Beginnings’ to write an acrostic poem either in a group or as a whole class.
- Using the poem New Beginnings as a stimulus, ask your pupils to suggest words to describe their feelings and emotions when they are in a new environment. This could be going to a new school, joining a new club or moving to a new neighbourhood. Encourage them to suggest ways to make these new experiences easier to cope with.
- Ask your pupils to think, pair and share the qualities that make a good friend. Now use the Diamond Ranking strategy (see Resource 3.2: page 22 of Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stages 1 and 2) to prioritise them. Encourage your pupils to compare the qualities they think of with other groups.
- Ask the class to create a collage of hands with friendship qualities written on each finger.
- Ask your pupils to plot the following cities on the map provided in Resource 3.3.
- Buenos Aires
- St Petersburg
- Then, ask them to find out the time difference between Ulster and each city.
- Encourage your pupils to fill in the clocks in Resource 3.4 to show the correct time in each city, if it is 9 am (the beginning of the school day) in Garvagh.
- Ask your pupils to search online to find the quickest way to travel from Ulster to Boston. Then encourage them to prepare a travel plan for a family of four (two adults and two children) and work out the total cost of travel for the family.
- Tell your class that the money used in a country is called its currency. Ask your pupils to work in pairs to match the flags to the correct currency symbol (Resource 3.5).
- Encourage the class to compare banknotes from different countries, for example £5 pounds, $5 dollars and €5 euro. Ask them to list the common features and use this information to design a new banknote for your school.
- Tell your class that when they travel to a different country, they need to use that country’s currency. Encourage your pupils to work out the rate of exchange between pounds sterling and US dollars. Ask them to look up the currency rates for the countries in Activity 10 and complete a currency table (Resource 3.6). Encourage them to use the table to calculate how much of each currency they could buy for £2, £5 and £10.
- Ask your pupils to calculate the cost of buying the following shopping list in US dollars. Then, encourage them to compare this with the same shopping list in Ulster:
- 1 litre milk
- ½ dozen eggs
- 2 kg potatoes
- 350 g cheese
- 1 loaf bread
- 1 kg bananas
- The McFadden family thought they had the promise of a new life in Boston. Encourage your pupils to read the Bible story of Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt and sequence the events.
- Display Resource 3.7: Ulster Place Names in North Eastern USA on to a whiteboard. Task your pupils with plotting the eleven place names on to the blank map of Ulster provided (Resource 3.8). Ask them why they think the names are the same.
- Video: A Place at Last
On their last night on-board the Maccallum, Andrew McFadden and the Reverend Woodside reflect on their long journey. Watch the video and ask your pupils to listen very carefully for any mention of place names that indicate where they’ve been, where they are now and how they got there. Encourage your pupils to research the location of these names and mark them on the Map of New England (Resource 3.9). Ask your pupils to use this map to plot the route of the Maccallum since arriving in the New World and calculate the distance travelled in miles and kilometres.
*Numbers indicate related activities