Steamers Lesson 1: Routes
Subject: Middle School Language Arts
Written by: Tephanie Cotton, Hertford County Middle School
Lesson Plan Format
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.
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 1.02: 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
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.
Access to Internet and Steamers Digital History Exhibit: www.lib.ecu.edu/exhibits/steamers,
blank paper for maps, crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, and pictures
cut from magazines.
Recommended Digital Resources:
Steamers Exhibit: www.lib.ecu.edu/exhibits/steamers
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
To map out routes taken by a steamer, the teacher will use the website: Steamers
Exhibit from the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits (www.llib.ecu.edu/exhibits/steamers)
Teacher will present students with an outline or traced map of northeastern
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.
Students will work alone in this activity but will sit at a table with others,
consulting their classmates as needed.
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
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.