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Steamers Lesson 1: Design and Construction

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

Lesson Plan Format


Steamers: Design and Construction.

This is lesson three in a series of three lessons that will increase students’ knowledge of the use of steamboats in eastern North Carolina. Students will design and construct small models of steamboats using simple materials and will test their replicas in water. They will be able to discuss how steamboats were built and why they were built this way. They will review what they learned from their lessons on 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 3.02: 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:
Articles/information supplied by teacher. Access to Internet and Steamers Exhibit ( Clean and empty milk cartons. Popsicle sticks. Various types of glue. Markers and rulers.

Recommended Digital Resources:
Steamers Exhibit: Click on “Construction.”
“1871 March 10 To E. S. Askew & Bros.”
“1873 February 17 Permanent Enrollment No. 6”
Other documents in this section.

Lesson Plan Format

Focus and Review:
Teacher will use the KWL (Know, Want to Know, Learned) chart that was created in the previous lesson as a review of the Steamers Exhibit.
Teacher will also use the maps that were completed in the previous lesson as a review item.
Teacher will continue to ask various questions for an oral discussion with the students.

Teacher Input:
Teacher will use the Steamers Exhibit of the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits to show students the designs and measurement of a steamboat/riverboat (the S. S. Bertie).

Steamers Exhibit: Click on “Construction.”
“1871 March 10 To E. S. Askew & Bros.”
“1873 February 17 Permanent Enrollment No. 6”
Other documents in this section.

Group Activities:
Students will decide, with a partner, if they want to replicate the main deck or second deck. They will work with the partner to sketch a design of the part of the steam ship they are going to replicate.

Students will decide on materials: milk cartons or popsicle sticks.

Students will construct their version of a steamboat, taking care to make it look attractive and to make it capable of floating in various types of water (muddy, salt, rough).

Individual Activities:
Students will use information from the teacher and the website as a visual or other resource as needed.

Steamers Exhibit: Click on “Construction.”
“1871 March 10 To E. S. Askew & Bros.”
“1873 February 17 Permanent Enrollment No. 6”
Other documents in this section.
Students will collect popsicle sticks and empty and clean milk cartons.

Reflection and Closure:
Students will share their version of the steamboat/riverboat with their classmates. Teacher will also invite other classes to view the replicas.

A contest will decide not only which replica is most attractive and also which one stands the water test the best.

Teacher and students will orally review what was learned through this series of three lessons.

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Page Updated 01 September 2004
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