Four Engaging Titanic Learning Extensions

Anna Starecheski

We know that when it comes to super-engaging topics, Titanic is always near the top of the list. That's why we were so excited to feature Lauren Tarshis's wonderful "Into the Dark Water" in our September issue of Storyworks Jr. It's the story of the sinking of the Titanic, focusing on one survivor: 17-year-old Jack Thayer. It's a truly gripping tale, and we had a feeling your students might come out of it hungry to learn more about this fascinating, tragic historical event. With that in mind, here are four extension ideas to keep the learning going in your classroom!

TO READ: a historical fiction book

TO DO: a genre study

If you're not familiar with the I Survived series, written by our very own Lauren Tarshis, consider this a perfect introduction! This immersive series brings young readers into historical events with suspenseful, rich historical fiction narratives. "I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912" is one of our favorites, and we're betting your students will be riveted.

LEARNING TASK: Use this as an opportunity to compare and contrast historical fiction with narrative nonfiction. Make sure your students understand the difference by having them write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the article in Storyworks Jr. with the I Survived book, or hold a class discussion.

TO EXPLORE: an interactive website 

TO DO: write a paragraph

National Geographic Kids has a great page on their site about the Titanic, where students will find facts about the ship and have the opportunity to click through to other related articles.

LEARNING TASK: Have students pick out two facts from the site that resonated with them. Ask: How did those facts help you better understand the Titanic? Students can respond in a short paragraph.

TO RESEARCH: facts about the Titanic

TO DO: create a newspaper page about the disaster

Top teaching blogger Genia Connell has put together a fabulous lesson plan for digging deeper into the Titanic. After reading our article in Storyworks Jr. and perhaps visiting the library to find some more information about the disaster, students will create a newspaper front page about the event. This lesson plan is super fun, and comes with reproducibles and detailed instructions!

LEARNING TASK: Students will assume the roles of journalists, editors, and survivors and create newspaper stories about the sinking of the Titanic

TO READ: a comprehensive book of facts about the Titanic

TO DO: make a poster

This is the definitive informational book about the Titanic! Your Titanic-obsessed students are sure to devour this book, which includes facts, photos, quizzes, survivor stories, and more.

LEARNING TASK: Have students pick out one aspect of the ship that they learned about in this book and make a poster to inform their classmates. This could be the building of the ship, myths about the ship...the possibilities are endless!

We hope these Titanic learning extensions inspire you and your students—and for more fun facts, don't forget to check out the Can't-Miss Teaching Extras on the right side of the story page. If you have a fabulous learning extension for this or any other story, we want to hear about it!

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