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.
Narrate an account such as a news story or historical
• creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience,
• orients the reader/listener to the scene, the people, and the events.
• engages the reader/listener by establishing a context and creating a point
Competency Goal 2. The learner will synthesize and use information from
a variety of sources.
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
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.
Access to Internet and Steamers Digital History Exhibit: www.lib.ecu.edu/exhibits/steamers
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.
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 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.
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.
Students will use the Steamers Exhibit (www.lib.ecu.edu/exhibits/steamers)
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.