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Steamers Lesson 1: Routes

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

Lesson Plan Format


Steamers: Routes.

This is lesson two in a series of three lessons that will increase students’ knowledge of the use of steamboats in eastern Carolina. In this lesson, students will research the routes of steamers and investigate how they were used. They will draw an illustrated map and a timeline of routes. They will be able to discuss in class: the routes, how long steamer travel took, the purpose of steamers, and what life was like during the time of steamboat transportation.



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 1.02: Demonstrate competence and self motivation as a reader.

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:
Two class periods.

Materials/Supplies Needed:
Access to Internet and Steamers Digital History Exhibit:, blank paper for maps, crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, and pictures cut from magazines.

Recommended Digital Resources:

Steamers Exhibit:

Lesson Plan Format

Focus and Review:
Teacher will use the KWL (Know, Want to Know, Learned) chart as a review of the Steamers Exhibit. Teacher will ask various questions for an oral discussion. Teacher will give students important information that was not covered in the previous lesson.

Teacher Input:
To map out routes taken by a steamer, the teacher will use the website: Steamers Exhibit from the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits (
Teacher will present students with an outline or traced map of northeastern North Carolina.
Teacher will show students and example of a route taken by a steamer.
Teacher will present information to students about items that were transported on steamers to give students a better idea of the use of steamers.

Group Activities:
Students will work alone in this activity but will sit at a table with others, consulting their classmates as needed.

Individual Activities:
Students will use the information from the teacher and the website to draw a map of a steamer route. On their maps students will include magazine clippings to show what was transported on the steamer. Students will also include a timeline with their maps to aid in understanding the length of time it took for a simple journey.

Students will use this information to discuss in class what it was like to live during this time.

Reflection and Closure:
Students will share their maps and timelines with their classmates. Teacher will fill in any information that was left out or that is unclear. Teacher will give a brief introduction of the next lesson: the designing of a steamboat/riverboat.

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Page Updated 01 September 2004
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