Lesson Plan

Titanic investigation

Students will be learning more about history of the Titanic and sharing research.
Hollie G.
Instructional Coach
North Fairview Elementary School
Topeka, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • compare and contrast history and present day
  • research the Titanic
  • share research in a current day format
  • practice online etiquette 




English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Background knowledge

NBC Learn
Free to Try, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

As an introduction to the research they are going to be working on you will show students the video titled "Titanic at 100", found on the NBC Learn website (a free 30 day trial is available). 

The first time have students watch the video with the instruction as to find two facts they did not know prior to this video. Then, show the video a second time and have them write notes in a collaborative Google document (either through thier table group or the whole class) and have each student write in a different color font to distinguish everyone. As they watch it a second time they need to type out thier two facts. 

Give students two minutes to discuss their findings after the video is completed. 

Student Instructions

You are going to be watching a video about the Titanic because we are going to be doing some research over the next couple of days. I'd like you to watch this video and be thinking about two new things you did not know prior to watching it.

Second time: Everyone needs to choose a different color font in their Google Doc and type thier name in the table (ex: https://goo.gl/yRYnkX). 

2 Stories in the Titanic history

NBC Learn
Free to Try, Paid

If you search for "Titanic" in NBC Learn, you will find multiple images of some of the people who were riding. Give students some think time looking at these pictures in quiet and thinking about what that persons job was, how old he or she was, how they felt, ect. 

Explain we are going to be comparing how this historic event was reported in the newspaper to how it would be reported today (Social Media, websites, television, ect).

Student Instructions

When you look at this picture I don't want you to talk to others. Take some time to think about what their job was, how old he or she was, how they were feeling, do you think they were able to survive?

Starting today we are going to begin the process of comparing and contrating how this event would be reported today. 

3 Comparing and Contrasting

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Give partners a link that will show some newspaper pages  (http://www.titanic-whitestarships.com/News.htm) to let them start seeing what the newspaper clippings looked like.  To keep students accountable for reading have them use a graphic organizer (goo.gl/GD4h8R) comparing some of the differences.

After students have completed this activity share some thoughts you all have, including how it would probably be covered through social media today.

Student Instructions

We are going to be looking at some newspaper articles from 1912 of when the Titanic happened. You will be working with a partner today to compare how this is different than if it happened today.  As you are reading these today take notes in your Google Doc of what you notice.

4 Creating "Fakebook" page for Titanic

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Britannica School
Free to Try, Paid
NBC Learn
Free to Try, Paid

Using their notes in Google Drive and finding more research of the Titanic (such as through Britannica School), students are going to create a "Fakebook" through classtools.net.  Partners will go to http://www.classtools.net/FB/home-page to create. They will be able to upload some saved images (you can save images through NBC Learn).  On the Fakebook page you can show a short tutorial they have of how to add information to the website. 

Their goal is to show what  a newspage would look like for the Titanic currently. 

Since we are always trying to sneak in online etiquette to our students, please take a minute to remind them of what quality posts would look like.

Student Instructions

One of the biggest ways people get news today is through social media, so we are going to create Titanic Facebook pages to show what we think they would look like. What photos would they share? What would their status look like as the news of the event keeps rolling in? With your partner you will be creating this page to share with the class. 

Please watch this tutorial on how to add facts to your Fakebook.

Remember, when we post things on social media we need to be courteous and smart about how and what we are posting. Part of your grade will depend on how well you do on your status to show you are being wise online!

5 Share through Google Classroom

If you have access to Google Classroom, you can have students share their link to their "Fakebook" profile in your classroom. I like the ideas of posting it in here (you can create a new class just for this project) because it will allow students to look at their own rate and comment on projects.

Once again, take time to remind studnets of what positive comments would look like on this project before letting them loose. 

Student Instructions

Since you are posted your project through Google Classroom you are going to have an opporunity to look at other students profiles in here, and comment. I'd like you to remember when we comment we are looking for positive things you see that you like. Please don't just say "I like it", but pick out something specific that you liked on theirs. Everybody's profile will have something positive to pick out.