Are your students as fascinated with the Titanic as mine are? I know I was, too, when I was their age. I even built a model replica of the ship. So, as the world remembers the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I’ve drawn on that enthusiasm to bring Titanic-related primary documents into my classroom to teach valuable thinking methods and problem solving skills.
Using such primary documents in the classroom teaches my students not only historical events, but they see and feel those events through the lives of the participants. Through their analysis of first hand accounts, newspaper articles, and personal journals, my students discover the men and women who participated in the history.
Students fascinated with the Titanic can read first-hand accounts written by the passengers and newspaper articles about the historic tragedy. The lives of the lost and the saved illustrate both the human survival struggle and the tragedy of the loss. Here are some highlighted lessons and resources I’ve used to help my students grow!
Research. Students researched the original White Star lines publications to determine if they claimed the Titanic was unsinkable, or was that claim merely what people believed. By searching through internet sources, they were able to use quotes and text evidence from the promotional brochure and first-hand accounts. Then they wrote an opinion paper supporting their side of the argument. Resources on Teachers Pay Teachers offer whole unit bundles, including Titanic passenger tickets!
Close Reads. The original New York Times article reporting the disaster and multiple first-hand accounts offer valuable windows into a
“contemporary perspective” from 1912. Students fathom vocabulary meaning in context, make inferences, read complex texts, and write creatively. Primary documents in your classroom help you teach real lives
and real people. Those people faced real problems and found concrete solutions. What better way to inspire your students?
Math Tasks. Numbers. From the building of a ship to caring for thousands of passengers, it’s all about the numbers. Complex math tasks focusing on the Titanic engage them in learning and history and problem-solving.
Over 100 years ago The RMS Titanic sank into the icy depths. So many resources offer valuable teaching tools to engage your kids even in at the end of school. I know Titanic resources get me out of bed and excited about going to school!