Friday, April 13, 2012

Books & Lesson Plans: Remembering the Titanic

This weekend marks the 100 year anniversary of the sailing and then subsequent sinking of the Titanic.  This British ship sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after hitting an iceburg during her maiden voyage from Southhampton, England to New York City.   When the Titanic went down, it caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her voyage. There were 2,224 passengers on board.  These included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandenavia and elsewhere.  They were seeking a new life in North America. The ship was designed to be the best in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and stunning cabins.  Though she had "advanced" safety features such as watertight compartments and doors, she lacked enough lifeboats for all of those aboard. Due to outdated safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for a third of her total passenger and crew capacity - 1,178 people.  It is reported that only 706 people survived.  Sadly, many of the lifeboats were not filled to capacity. 

What a perfect opportunity we have as parents, teachers and librarians this year to remember and teach about the acts of heroism that occurred that horrific night!  The examples are numerous, from the musicians who played hymns as the ship sank lower and lower, to crew members who gave their lives to save others.

Here's a great website for teachers or librarians that's jam packed full of lesson plans all about the Titanic

Here are just a few of my favorite books on the subject which document this event with both touching photos and honesty:

The Titanic:  Lost and Found (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) by July Donnelly

Inside the Titanic (A Giant Cutaway Book)  by Hugh    Brewster, Ill. by Ken Marschall

National Geographic Readers: Titanic by Melissa Stewart
(I love the text features and the vibrant colored pictures that will surely draw in young children.)

Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House, No. 17) by   Mary Pope Osborne  She also wrote  Magic Tree House Research Guide:  Titanic, which she calls "a nonfiction companion" to this book.  I bought it and love it, with it's real photos, sketches, "Fact Files" and snippetts of biographies.

Titanic, Book One (of a Series of 3) by Gordon Korman
This is a historical fiction series which tells the story of four children's experiences that fateful night!

882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Your Questions About the Titanic by Laurie Coulter and Hugh Brewster (Jan 1, 2012)
This is a great reference book, full of almost anything you would ever want to know about the Titanic! 

The Titanic:  An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books) by Bob Temple.  In this book, the reader can choose life or death for the ending!

Titanic Sinks!:  Experience the Titanic's Doomed Voyage in this Unique Presentation of Fact and Fiction by Barry Denenberg


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