A Titanic Lesson

We are delighted to welcome a guest writer, Dawn Altnam, an American blogger who has an interest in education. In a timely post, Dawn outlines how teachers can use the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking as part of their lesson plans. Thanks Dawn for the great post! This lesson plan will also be available on our sister web site Mash.ie.

This year marks the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking, an event that inspired at least two dozen movies and hundreds of books. Because the Titanic’s fate attracted so much attention in popular culture, it stands to reason that the story is capable of holding the interest of students as well. With the 100-year anniversary as their catalyst, teachers can use the Titanic’s sinking to develop a powerful unit that captivates the classroom while simultaneously addressing state education standards in multiple subject areas.
Creating a Learning Unit

  • Telling the story. At the beginning of the unit, teachers can relate the story of the Titanic’s sinking to students in order to provide students with a basic understanding of the event. Teachers can also discuss the after-effects, such as the number of deaths a
    nd the reaction of the public.
  • Visualizing the ship. Plenty of images of the Titanic and its passengers are available for classroom use, both in books and online. Looking at these pictures captures students’ interests and provides them with a visual representation of the ship that they can refer to throughout the unit.
  • Incorporating technology. Teachers can use interactive features available on the Internet to teach students about the structure of the Titanic, the route of its maiden voyage and much more. Students can also use the Internet to conduct their own research about the event.
  • Examining the incident. Students can flex their analytical muscles by discussing social issues associated with the sinking, such as the relationship between passengers’ social class and their access to lifeboats.

Meeting State Standards

  • History. The sinking of the Titanic is a key historical event. Discussing this incident in the classroom can provide students with valuable insight into the associated time period.
  • Physics and engineering. Students can meet science standards while analyzing the structure of the Titanic, the damage caused by the iceberg and the physics behind its sinking.
  • Social sciences. Students can meet social studies standards while evaluating the class system on the Titanic and the way it came into play when the ship was sinking.
  • Technology. A unit on the Titanic that incorporates the use of interactive features and online research can meet state standards for the use of technology in education.
  • English. Students can write opinion papers on various issues surrounding the Titanic’s sinking to meet state standards in English. Students can also conduct research for their papers both in the library and online.

One hundred years after the Titanic’s sinking, the ship remains a legend in popular culture. Teaching students about the sinking of this vessel covers more than just history. Teachers can use such a unit to meet state standards in several different areas. A unit on the Titanic can also teach students to conduct research, use technology and analyze important social issues.
About the authorDawn lives and works in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, and she enjoys following the tech and business worlds. After furthering her education, she also speaks on behalf of her client on the importance of online education and earning an online master degree.

0 thoughts on “A Titanic Lesson”

  1. My husband and I have written an alphabet book, “T is for Titanic” that may be useful to elementary students. (Sleeping Bear Press, $17.95) Here is some further information – http://storytimeblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/100-years-since-sinking-of-the-titanic/

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