Friday, April 13, 2012

Titanic Teaching Ideas--Activities for "Build It"

The basic timeline I used for my unit is as follows:

 1: Build It 

 2: Sail It  

 3: Sink It  

 4: Save It  

 5: Remember It 

Projects relating to the actual building of Titanic:

*A few vocabulary ideas: -hull -porthole -vessel -fittings -reciprocating engines 
-compartment -crow's nest -bridge -rudder -propellor -vast -interior -exterior -equip –helm 

*A few spelling ideas: (easier and becoming more advanced) ship, away, under, full, leak, sail, carry, cabin, dock, steer, class, night, April, ocean, aboard, across, titanic, bridge, ticket, warning, always, witness, wreck, route, message, reason, because, trouble, century, famous, international, official, necessary, recommend, especially, committee  

*Who were the Titans in Greek mythology? Why might shipbuilders choose such a theme for their ship?

*Was "Titanic" a good name for this ship, the most luxurious and biggest of its time? Why or why not? Suggest a better one-word name for the ship. Why would this name have been better?

*What did RMS stand for in Titanic's name? Why was it called RMS?

*Journal: Would you like to have traveled on this great ship if you'd had the chance? Imagine that you are living in the year 1912. You've just heard a great deal about this new, luxurious, unsinkable ship called "Titanic". Some people are saying that it's the greatest ship while others are cautious. Write a note/letter to someone you know, telling them why they should come with you on Titanic. OR Write a note/letter to someone you know, convincing them not to go on Titanic's maiden voyage. Use only facts that were known in 1912 before the voyage.

*Titanic was 882 1/2 feet long and 92 1/2 feet wide. Find a very large space outdoors. Mark out the dimensions of the whole ship. You might wish to comment in your journals about the enormity of it. If part of your group stays at one end of the "ship" can you see the rest of your group on the other end of it?

*Most of Titanic's lifeboats had a capacity of 65. Build a lifeboat (milk carton or other materials). See if you can get it to hold 65 (pennies, peanuts, paperclips).

*Sea trials game: Titanic had to be tested before its maiden voyage. The crew practiced port (left) and starboard (right) turns, stopping turning full circle, running at different speeds. One player is the captain. He leads the group in doing its drills...Ex. "full speed ahead" "everyone to the starboard side of the room for 10 jumping jacks"...

*Titanic was built on wooden platforms that sloped down into the water. At launch, 22 tons of tallow, soap, and train oil were used to grease the platforms so Titanic could slide down into the water at just the right time. Experiment-use ramps at different degree angles. Use different weights of objects, slide down the ramps. What gives them enough slipperiness to slide? Do any of them slide too quickly?

*PE Drama: Many first class passengers arrived to board Titanic with many suitcases, trunks, and crates. It was very important for Titanic employees to correctly match each piece of luggage with its owner. Some of the luggage was for the sea voyage, other pieces were to be held until the ship’s arrival in New York. Information on the tag included Name, Room Number, Class, and the White Star Line logo.
-Divide a large area, marking off first and second class, as well as several room numbers per class. -Create luggage tags which show to which class and room each piece belongs. –Place these tags on numerous boxes, suitcases, backpacks, and anything else which could be used to replicate luggage. –At your signal, the Titanic employees deliver each piece to its proper place. –This may be timed or played as a relay as well. –Be careful with the luggage! You wouldn’t want a passenger to get his fancy luggage dented!

*Find out the dimensions of a first class room and a third class room. Find a space, perhaps outside or in a very large room. Mark out the dimensions of that part of the Titanic. Try "sharing" the "rooms" with members of your group. Also try comparing the personal space for a first class room with that of a third class room.

*Look at the White Star Line Flag. It's a basic red pennant with a White Star. Use the painting technique of pointillism (small distinct dots) to create the flag. Fly the flag for the duration of your unit study.

*Make various origami boats. Use different sizes and types of paper. Make predictions for which will float best. Analyze and compare your results. Advanced students can use stopwatches and record the time it takes for each boat to sink. Results can be graphed.

*Find the area and perimeter of certain parts of the Titanic/the whole ship. For example, Titanic's first-class dining saloon measured 114 feet long and 92 feet wide. What was the total area of the dining saloon? If all 329 first-class passengers were in the dining saloon, how much room could each passenger have if the space was divided equally between them? Find the area for each person if only 1/3 of the first-class passengers were in the room.

Projects relating to the time period:

*What books were written in 1911/1912? (There are many.) Which are written for people your age? Find, read, discuss. 1911: Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie 1912: The Tale of Mr. Tod by Beatrix Potter, Sky Island by L. Frank Baum, Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Magic World by Edith Nesbit
Note: I haven't read all of these myself.

* Look at artists and art pieces of the time. Examples include: Picasso-Violin/ Still Life/ Bottle Glass Guitar and Pipe/ Still Life with Bowl and Fruit/ Guitar and Violin/ Guitar on a Table/ Musical Instruments. He also had his portrait painted by Juan Gris in 1912. Mondrian-The Grey Tree/ Still Life with Ginger Pot 2/ Trees in Blossom. Goncharova-Green Forest. Kandinsky-Black Spot 1/ Improvisation 28. Max Weber-New York. Georges Braque-The Clarinet/ and some new twists with collage. Delaunay-The Red Tower/ Simultaneous Windows/ Windows Open. Gino Severini-Blue Dancer. Giacomo Balla-Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. Juan Gris-Guitar and Flowers/ Portrait of Picasso.
-Many of these works show a style of art typical at the time. Look also for any glimpses into life in 1912 as portrayed in them. Works can be compared/contrasted for their elements such as line, shape, and color, as well as mood, theme, etc.
-Note: One helpful website for finding art produced in 1912 is the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In a Titanic twist, the Solomon Guggenheim who founded the museum was the brother of Benjamin Guggenheim who died aboard the Titanic. As always, adults will want to monitor activities of students online.

*PBS has information about the 1912 Presidential election, called "one of the most significant elections in American history". 

*Play recordings of the popular music of the time. Older students can explore the historical and cultural backdrop and purposes for which they were composed. Research the musicians who were hard at work at that time. Students can learn to play these melodies if they have an instrument specialty. 

*King George V was king in England. (He succeeded his father King Edward VII after which the very important Edwardian era was named.) What trends (fashion, art, literature...) were popular.

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