Lesson Plan: Titanic Lessons We Have learned

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Unit Objective

Compare and Contrast the overall structure of events, ideas, concepts or information in 2 or more texts.

Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically


Background and Rationale

  • Key Concept: Comparing and Contrasting 2 articles concerning cause and effects resulting from the sinking Titanic.
  • End Product Assessment: Students will compose a Problem Solution Essay, following creating a Claim, Support, Conclusion Outline.
  • Main Story: ” The Wreck of the Unsinkable Titanic” Additional Texts: Creating Titanic II, Lessons Learned from the Titanic, Viewing interviews of Titanic Survivors.
  • Connection: This lesson was part 2 of a 5 part series. End product Students will create a mind map from either the journalist, scientist, or survivors perspective concerning the sinking of the Titanic and learned lessons.
  • Differentiation: The only differentiation will involve planning around a student that is in sp. education.


Lesson Objectives


Bloom’s Verb

Introduce a topic or text clearly.


Form an opinion and state it clearly.


Create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically


Bloom’s Taxonomy

Creating (highest level)

Common Core / State and District Standards

  • RI 5 Compare and Contrast the overall structure of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • W1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Learning and Innovation Skills (P21.org)

Creativity and innovation

      Think Creatively:

  • Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)

  • Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)

  • Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

       Work Creatively with Others:

  • Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively

  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work

       Reason Effectively:

  • Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems

       Make Judgments and Decisions

  • Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs

  • Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view

  • Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes

       Communicate Clearly

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts

      Collaborate with Others

  • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams

Life and Career Skills (P21.org)

Flexibility and Adaptability: Be Flexible

  • Incorporate feedback effectively

  • Deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism

Initiative and Self Direction: Work Independently

  • Monitor, define, prioritize and complete tasks without direct oversight

Productivity and Accountability: Produce Results

  • Multi-task

  • Participate actively, as well as be reliable and punctual

  • Present oneself professionally and with proper etiquette

  • Collaborate and cooperate effectively with teams

  • Respect and appreciate team diversity

  • Be accountable for results

Information, Media, and Technology Skills (P21.org)

  • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term
  • cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
  • Incorporate feedback effectively (Flexibility and Adaptability)
  • Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources) (Access and Evaluate Information)
  • Use information accurately and creatively for the issue or problem at hand (Use and Manage Information)

Lesson – Introduction

Show students pictures of a propeller found underwater. Students did an Explanation Game in which they tried to determine what they were looking at. Tell them at the end that it was the propeller from the Titanic. This was a great lead in to the story which was about locating the Titanic. View video clips of the wreckage at the bottom of the ocean.

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Click on the image to access the video


Lesson Activities and Procedures

Student Procedure

Teacher Procedure


Students will make a claim about the topic on a Google Doc.
The teacher will share that a Claim is: An explanation or interpretation of some aspect of the topic about the Titanic.
Google DocThinking Routine: Claim Support Question

Students will Identify support for their claim about the topic

The teacher will explain Support: Things you see, feel, and know that support the claim.
Students will Ask a question related to their claim.
The teacher will explain the Question: What’s left hanging? What isn’t explained? What new reasons does the claim raise?

Students will collaborate with groups and share their claim, support, question.

The teacher will explain how their question can challenge the plausibility of the claim, and often lead to a deeper understanding of the reasoning process.

The students will continue discussion.

The teacher will share that there are often different perspectives that help us to see and embrace different points of view.
The students will use their rubric to evaluate their work The teacher will use the Rubric to evaluate the students’ work

Lesson Closure

Talking with your group, what did you learn in this lesson? What was your objective? How did you show me what you know today (assessment)?




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Click on the image to enlarge

Assessment Rubric: Problem-Solution-Essay.docx

Student Work Example



Author Profile: 

Heather Fisher


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Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement,  Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA:     Jossey-Bass.