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Steamers Lesson 1: Background Information

Subject: Middle School Language Arts
Written by: Tephanie Cotton, Hertford County Middle School

Lesson Plan Format


Steamers: Background Information.

This is lesson one in a series of three lessons that will increase the student’s knowledge of the use of steamboats in eastern North Carolina. Students will read background information, including the route of the Steamer Bertie and how the Bertie was built. Students will take notes on their reading and participate in a class discussion. At the end of the series, students will be able to discuss various aspects of steamboats.



Seventh Grade, Language Arts

Competency Goal 1. The learner will use language to express individual perspectives in response to personal, social, cultural, and historical issues.

Objective 1.01
Narrate an account such as a news story or historical episode which:

• creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and context.

• orients the reader/listener to the scene, the people, and the events.

• engages the reader/listener by establishing a context and creating a point of view.

Competency Goal 2. The learner will synthesize and use information from a variety of sources.

Objective 2.02
Develop informational products and/or presentations that use and cite at least three print or non-print sources by:

• identifying and using appropriate primary and secondary sources.

• comparing, contrasting, and evaluating information from different sources about the same topic.

• evaluating information for extraneous details, inconsistencies, relevant facts, and organization.

Skill Competency Goal 1. The learner will explore sources and format for reading, listening, and viewing purposes.

Objective 1.09: Recognize that ideas are produced in a variety of formats (print, graphical, audio, video, multimedia, web-based).

Objective 1.11: Explore primary and secondary sources.

Skill Competency Goal 3. The learner will relate ideas and information to life experiences.

Objective 3.01: Describe personal cultural heritage and environment.

Objective 3.02: Collect and compare information about diverse cultures, environments, and peoples.

Skill Competency Goal 5. The learner will communicate reading, listening, and viewing experiences.

Objective 5.01: Respond to reading, listening, viewing experiences orally, artistically, dramatically, through various formats.

Time Required for Lesson:
One or two class periods.

Materials/Supplies Needed:
Access to Internet and Steamers Digital History Exhibit:
Access to librarian with resource materials from the media center.
Articles, maps, and other materials provided by the teacher.

Recommended Digital Resources:
including the following: Steamers Exhibit, About the Steamers Exhibit, About the Askew Family, About the Activities of a Multi-Purpose Steamboat, The Steamer Bertie Article from the Windsor Public Ledger 31 July 1889.

Lesson Plan Format

Focus and Review:
Teacher will begin a KWL (Know, Want to Know, Learned) chart to see what previous knowledge students have about steamers and riverboats.

Teacher Input:
Teacher will give overview of the Steamers Exhibit and important facts.
Teacher will also give a list of vocabulary terms that will be encountered during this series of lessons.
Teacher will give instructions for media center activities.
Teachers will use the Steamers Exhibit.

Group Activities:
In groups of 3 or 4, students will share the information they found while reading in the media center.
Students will keep the KWL chart in mind as they discuss their reading with other members of the group.
Students will take notes on the articles read by group members.

Individual Activities:
Students will use the Steamers Exhibit ( to find and read two documents about the Bertie/Hertford steamers.
Students will take notes on what they have read.

Reflection and Closure:
Class will come back together and complete the KWL chart.
Teacher will give a brief introduction to the next lesson, which will be the mapping out of possible routes.

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Page Updated 01 September 2004
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