Boats, Boats, Boats

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					        Boats, Boats, Boats
                                 Pre-Visit Lesson Plans

Eagle Inboard Profile and Deck (K. Crisman)
The Lake Champlain Highway
      Lake Champlain has been used as a transportation route throughout history.

      Students will:
            • Read and color “Boats, Boats, Boats on Lake Champlain.”
            • Listen to more detailed descriptions of the history of boating on Lake Champlain.
            • Look at Lake Champlain as a water highway.
            • Draw a picture of a boat used today.

      • Teacher background information
      • Student copies of the coloring pages
      • Simple map of the Lake Champlain highway

      Teacher Preparation
              Read background information and highlight areas that fit into your curriculum and
students interest, so that you can share the information with your students.

       A. Introduction:
               Use the map of lake Champlain to show students the North/South highway. Ask: If there
were no roads or paths, (airplanes were not invented), what would be the easiest way to travel from
St. Albans to Ticonderoga? What would be the easiest way to travel from Plattsburgh to Burlington?

      B. Lesson Development
            1) Explain that Lake Champlain is a water highway, and has been used as a major
            transportation route throughout history.

             2) Distribute the coloring pages

             3) Read the pages aloud as a group. Expand on the short descriptions by offering
             additional information from the teacher background materials.

              4) Ask students to describe the types of boats that they have seen on Lake Champlain.
             What did they look like? How were they powered? What were they being used for?
             (fishing, water skiing, sailing, research, transportation of goods or people)

       C. Conclusion:
              Ask: Can boats be used for transportation all year on Lake Champlain? What happens
when the lake freezes in the winter? (There is only limited use for boats after the lake freezes; ice
boats are used for recreation, and the Cumberland Head/Grand Isle Ferry breaks through the ice to
provide uninterrupted transportation across the lake.)
Boats, Boats, Boats
on Lake Champlai n
Native Americans were Lake Champlain’s original navigators, traveling the lake and its
tributaries in birch bark canoes and dugout canoes.
Battles from three wars have been fought on Lake Champlain. Troops from the French and
Indian War traveled in bateaux—flat bottomed boats powered by oar or sail.
During the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, larger sailing vessels, like this Row
Galley, were used by the Americans and the British. These boats were specially designed
to carry cannon and soldiers.
Smaller ferry boats were sometimes powered by animals, like horses, as they carried people
and their goods across narrow sections of the lake.
After the wars ended, people used Lake Champlain as a highway for business
and pleasure. Many different types of boats were used. Some were powered
by wind and used sails. Some boats were powered by steam engines.
Draw a picture of a boat you see on Lake Champlain today.
A General History of Lake Champlain
Exploration and Settlement
        Students living in the Champlain Valley are extremely lucky. You have at your fingertips, access
to a body of history that is very special. It has the ability to connect us with generations of Native
Americans, soldiers, sailors and settlers who came before us and helped shape this magnificent place
we call home. The reflections of these earlier times are all around us - you only need to put on your
historically corrected lenses and look around you. To help you with your new vision, we have prepared
this brief essay to guide you.

       Our journey begins with the Native Americans who lived in the Champlain Valley as long as
11,000 years ago. They were the lake’s original navigators, traveling the lake and its tributaries in
canoes. The hollowed canoes were made from a single log or made of birch bark wrapped around
a frame of ash. They hunted and fished, made tools and weapons of stone, made war, peace and
alliances, worshipped gods and had a special relationship with the land and water around them.

       The Native American occupation of the Champlain Valley is broken up into time periods. The
area, now known as New England, was covered by a mile thick glacier during the Ice Age. When the
ice melted around 10,500 BC and left a void filled with salt water (the land had been pushed below
sea level by the ice). The surrounding lands were frozen and treeless. The first Native Americans,
Paleoindians, lived and hunted along the Champlain Sea’s shores in nomadic tribes. Slowly the land
began to rebound and fresh water replaced the salt water. By 7,000 BC a rich forest replaced the
frozen tundra and the lake was formed. Native Americans, during a time period known as the Archaic
period, adapted to their new surroundings and began to settle in communities, becoming hunters
and gatherers. By 500 BC, during the Woodland period, Native Americans became an agricultural
community, and began to hunt with bow and arrow.

       This last period saw the first contact between Native Americans and Europeans and has been
sometimes called the Contact period. Imagine what it would have been like for peoples of such widely
varied cultures to meet. Imagine what it was like for Samual De Champlain.

       Champlain was born in a French seacoast town and at an early age decided he would become
a mariner. He participated in a number of expeditions from Europe to North America and became very
familiar with the Atlantic coast and the St. Lawrence River.

       While exploring in the Northeast, Native Americans told Champlain of “a large lake with
beautiful islands and a great deal of beautiful country surrounding it” and agreed to lead him and a
party of his men to this new region. Champlain’s party traveled in the shallop (a small sailing vessel
used for exploring) while the Indians accompanied him in their birch bark canoes.

        With two other French volunteers and 60 Algonquin in 24 canoes, they entered the lake on
July 4, 1609. Champlain’s journal describes the things he saw, the trees, animals and mountains to
the east and west. Champlain’s Indian allies were Algonquin, and they were at war with the Iroqouis
who inhabited the region of the large lake. The two parties met, and a battle soon followed in which
Champlain fired his arquebus at the Iroqouis, to win the battle. Champlain’s victory had profound
implications for the efforts of both the French and the British colonization of North America. Both
European powers expanded their territorial control. The British continued moving northward through
New York and New England and the French steadily moved south and west from their bases in New
France, known today as Canada. Lying between these two expanding empires was the Champlain
Valley, claimed by both powers and controlled by neither.
French & Indian War/American Revolution
       For the next 150 years, this valley saw warfare, strife and the construction of military fortifica-
tions as each party attempted to gain superiority. The lake and its river tributaries made an exceptional
highway on which to move armies. In summer, canoes and bateaux could move invading forces, and
in winter the ice provided a surface for armies on snowshoes. The French built St. Frederick at Crown
Point in 1734, and in 1755 they built Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga. Armies were transported to the
region and bloody were battles fought. In the end, both powers built naval squadrons. The British army,
under the command of General Jeffery Amherst, succeeded in pushing the French defenders north
into Canada. In 1759, control of the Champlain Valley formally switched to the British, and peace
came to the Champlain Valley.

        The period from 1760–1775 saw the first real movement of settlers into the Champlain Valley.
Many, like Philip Skene of Skenesboro, were former British soldiers who had fought in the Valley and
were attracted by the potential of its natural resources. Rivers to power mills, ore to make iron and
timber to sell to European shipbuilders all made the valley an attractive place to settle. The Governors
of New Hampshire and New York saw the opportunity to speculate on land in the valley, and both
officials began to sell title to lands surrounding the lake. Men like Peter Ferris, from Nine Partners,
New York, moved his family to the opposite side of the lake in Panton, Vermont. The Allen brothers of
Connecticut traveled the territory to find the best lands to purchase.

        This speculation created quite a problem when title was sold to two different people to the
same land! Local militia groups formed to defend land claims; the most successful of which were
the Green Mountain Boys who resided in what is now known as Vermont. Ethan Allen commanded
this group, and they were relentless about defending their land claims against the “Yorkers”. When the
tensions between Great Britain and the American colonies exploded into armed conflict, Ethan Allen,
the Green Mountain Boys and the Champlain Valley found themselves right in the thick of things.

        Three weeks after Concord and Lexington a fledgling force of “rebels” on Lake Champlain took
the British fortresses of Ticonderoga, Crown Point and attacked the fort at St. Johns. The assault was
led by Ethan Allen and shared with a Connecticut officer named Benedict Arnold. The taking of Fort
Ticonderoga was the first American offensive action against the British in the Revolution. The rebel
forces gained control of the strategic invasion route with the capture of the two large vessels on Lake
Champlain—a Schooner which belonged to Philip Skene, renamed Liberty and the “Kings Sloop from
St. Johns, renamed the Enterprise. These two vessels captured in May of 1775 might be considered
the first vessels in the American navy.

       With the lake secure, Congress located in Philadelphia, was persuaded to utilize it for an
invasion of Canada. A two pronged assault on Quebec City was planned with one army under the
command of Benedict Arnold driving through the Maine and Canadian wilderness while another under
Richard Montgomery invaded north on Lake Champlain.

       Montgomery’s army captured St. Johns, Chambly and Montreal while Arnold’s force emerged
from the wilderness having suffered great hardships during their march. The two armies joined in front
of the strong walls of Quebec in late fall. The season was turning cold and the troop’s enlistments
were about to run out. A bold plan was developed to attack the fortress on New Year’s Eve. This
strategy ended in disaster.

       In the nighttime attack, covered by a blinding snowstorm, Montgomery and many of his officers
were killed. Arnold was wounded, and the attack was a complete failure. The remainder of the winter
the army suffered greatly from lack of supplies and an uncertain mission. Worse yet, they became
sick with small pox. In the spring, an army the British sent over the ocean arrived at Quebec, and
the American’s were forced into a hasty retreat. Hundreds of sick men died as the American’s fell all
the way back to Lake Champlain and set up a defensive line at Fort Ticonderoga and a Vermont hill
they proclaimed as Mt. Independence. When the advancing British army reached St. Johns, they were
forced to halt; the American’s controlled the waterway.

       The campaign season of 1776 was all about control of Lake Champlain and both sides became
engaged in a shipbuilding race. The Americans brought in ship carpenters from the East Coast and
set up operations in Skenesboro. A now healed Benedict Arnold became “Commodore” of the fleet.
The British established a shipyard at St. Johns and also disassembled some of their existing vessels.
Each party built impressive fleets. On October 11, the two squadrons met at Valcour Island.

       The Battle of Valcour Island actually spanned three days. On the first day the Americans fought
the larger British fleet for five hours and lost the schooner Royal Savage, the gunboat Philadelphia
and over 10% of their men. Darkness brought an end to the fighting. In a bold plan under the cover of
night, Arnold rowed his remaining vessels, single file, past the British blockade set up at the southern
end of the island. The next morning, the British awoke mortified to find the American’s had escaped
and immediately gave chase. The British caught the fleeing American squadron on the 13th below
Split Rock where the combatants fought a 2 1/2 hour running gun battle which took them past Basin
Harbor. Arnold, on board the galley Congress, realized his battered vessels could not sustain the
engagement, and he directed his five rear-most vessels into Ferris’s Bay and intentionally destroyed
them so they would not fall into British hands. Arnold escaped overland to the American lines at
Ticonderoga with his men and the Ferris family, but as the naval engagement ended, control of the
lake had shifted into British hands.

        American forces worked through the winter to fortify their defensive positions at Ticonderoga
and Mt. Independence. The following season in June of 1777, an army under the command of General
John Burgoyne and made up of 8,000 British and Hessian (German) soldiers advanced up the lake
towards Ticonderoga and Mt. Independence. On July 5, 1777, with the threat of a much larger British
force, the American’s abandoned these lake fortifications and began an organized retreat. Burgoyne’s
forces steadily pressed forward but met stubborn resistance at Hubbardton and a surprising defeat at
Bennington. As the invading army moved into the Hudson Valley, American forces were massing to
stop them. The ultimate contest centered at Saratoga with Horatio Gates in command of the American
force and Benedict Arnold as one of his generals. In a major land battle, the British were defeated
and forced to surrender. This was the turning point of the Revolution and directly effected the outcome
of the war. Historians have pointed to the previous season’s naval contest on Lake Champlain as
the crucial event which delayed the British a season and sowed the seeds of victory at Saratoga
the following year.
Commerce and the War of 1812
        After the end of the war in 1783 residents and new settlers began to return to the Champlain
Valley. Since roads were poor or non-existent, the major thoroughfare was the lake. Soon ferries, log
rafts, sloops and schooners joined the canoes and bateaux in moving people through and across the
lake. The Champlain Valley was beginning its commercial climb.

        As new settlements emerged, new means were developed to transport people around the lake.
A steady increase in both population and watercraft began. Burlington, Vermont and Whitehall and
Essex, New York were centers for the new commerce. These commercial centers built most of the
trading sloops that appeared on the lake. Land was cleared and agricultural products were sent via the
lake into Canada to trade for tobacco, liquor and salt goods not available in the valley. At the beginning
of the 19th century, the lake became a busier commercial thoroughfare annually. On the near horizon a
new technology was being developed that had a profound impact on this wind driven maritime culture;
it was the development of the steamboat.

        Inventors had been experimenting with ways to apply steam power to watercraft for over
25 years when, in 1807, Robert Fulton finally produced a vessel which successfully navigated the
Hudson River. The very next year James and John Winans built a steamboat at the foot of King
Street in Burlington, Vermont, where the ferry still runs to this day. In 1809 it began it’s career as
the lake’s first steamboat. This new competition was not well received by the lake’s established wind
powered sailors, but it succeeded in working from Whitehall at one end of the lake, all the way north
to St. Johns. The tensions between sail and steam interests were soon overshadowed by yet another
military conflict between America and Britain, which became known as the War of 1812.

       The new war had great military and commercial implications for the Champlain Valley. War
with Great Britain meant that trade with Canada, the valley’s biggest trading partner, was forbidden;
the Lake’s strategic importance signaled another naval struggle for its control. To deal with the trade
embargo the enterprising Champlain Valley residents turned to active smuggling. To deal with the
naval considerations the American’s sent Lt. Thomas Macdonough, a rising young naval officer, to the
lake. He chose Vergennes as the site for his naval shipyard. Vergennes with its powerful waterfalls and
Monkton Iron Works were well suited for producing a naval squadron with which to secure the lake.
After a series of British raids into the lake during 1813, the naval race was on for a showdown. Here
history repeated itself, and the American force, like during the Revolution, was busily building fleet on
Lake Champlain while the British were engaged in similar efforts in the Richelieu River.

         In 1814, the lake witnessed the launching of the largest sailing vessels ever to appear on
its waters. The American flagship Saratoga was 150’ long, carried 26 heavy cannon and displaced
750 tons, while the British flagship, Confiance, was even larger. Macdonough stationed his fleet in
Plattsburgh Bay while an American land force dug in on the south side of the Saranac River. On
September 14, the British army advanced to the northern banks of the Saranac and waited for their
navy to appear and dispose of the American fleet before advancing. This time history did not repeat
itself, and in an intense and bloody engagement the American’s won what has come to be known as
the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay. This brought an end to the naval contest for the lake and also helped to
bring the war to a successful conclusion. The lake was again at peace.
Commerce and Recreation
       The lake was about to undergo many significant changes. A new steamboat enterprise, the
Lake Champlain Steamboat Company, came to Vergennes and built the Phoenix, the first boat they
launched and operated. During the war’s northern trade embargo increased trade with New York
fueled efforts to construct a canal connecting the waters of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.
This was not a new idea, but in 1817 the New York Legislature authorized construction of the Northern
Canal. When the sixty-three mile navigable connection opened in 1823, it ushered in a dynamic
explosion in regional commerce.

        During the next twenty years, all types of watercraft on Lake Champlain flourished. Standard
canal boats which were propelled by mules or horses on the canal followed by steamboats on the
lake, became the most numerous class. In many cases, these barges were mobile homes for whole
families who lived on them year round. Traditional lake sloops and schooners experienced an early
building boost but, by mid-century this building had all but stopped. In their place came the sailing
canal boat, a vessel which could sail on Lake Champlain. Upon reaching the canal, the sailing
canal boat could take down its masts and raise its centerboard and transform itself into a standard
canal boat. Steamboats flourished in the new marketplace and, after consolidation of a number of
rival companies, the Champlain Transportation Company emerged as the dominant power. They built
dozens of boats with ever more plush interiors and increased their size until they were built to lengths
of over 260 feet. The last steamboat built on the lake was the Ticonderoga (1906) which is now retired
and at the Shelburne Museum. With this rapid increase in watercraft came federal improvements
to lake navigation which can still be seen today. The Burlington breakwater (circa 1836) and the
Colchester Reef Lighthouse are two familiar examples of this type of public improvement.

         By the middle of the 19th century the lake was teeming with waterborne commerce of all
description. Iron ore, marble and lumber were transported from the lake. Mercantile houses on each
communities waterfront participated in import-export trade. Unbeknown to the lake sailors, another big
change was on the horizon; the coming of the railroads. Reaching Burlington in 1849 and extending
their lines throughout the remainder of the 19th century, the railroads first helped and then destroyed
lake commerce. Railroads could operate year round and were more dependable then the fickle winds
on Lake Champlain. The commercial fleet steadily declined until the turn of the 20th century, when one
saw only a handful of sailing vessels and remnants of the canal-boat fleet being towed in long rafts
by steam powered tow boats. Early in the new century the steamboats started to feel the increased
pressure from the railroads and from yet a new source of competition; the automobile.

       The lake scene was changing. Recreational boating began to make an appearance on the
lake in the late decades of the 19th century. Hotels around the lake emphasized the fishing and the
history of the Champlain Valley in order to attract visitors. The modern day ferries, constructed for the
automobile generation, have adapted and prospered in these changing times. The fuel barges, the
last vestiges of the days of commercial canal use are almost a bygone site. In their place have come
marinas jammed with sailboats, fishing contests, divers and windsurfers.

       The lake is always changing and adapting to the times. Reminders of bygone eras are all
around you ,whether reflected they are reflected in the stone ruins of Fort St. Frederick or the Old
Stone Store on Burlington’s harbor. This generation is the caretaker of the past and the one’s who by
their actions and activities are creating the new history.
Getting to Know Boats
      An Introduction to the parts of boats and nautical terms

       A good boatbuilder or sailor needs to know the special terms for the various parts that make up
a boat and how to move safely aboard a vessel. These nautical terms allow a boatbuilder or captain to
communicate quickly and clearly with others.

      Students will:
            • Learn the names for parts of boats and directions.
            • Use the nautical terms for directions to guide others around a “boat”
            • Draw and label a boat

      • Student copies or overhead tranparencies of identification sheets for directions on board a
      boat, and parts of boats
      • Copies of direction cards
      • Model of a boat (optional)
      • Photos or drawings of different types of boats optional)
      • Student copies of the Nautical Word Search

       Teacher Preparation
              Familiarize yourself with the terminology and prepare directional cards to transform your
classroom into a boat. If you are using a model or an image of a boat in your lesson you may wish to
create labels to correspond to the boat parts. Prepare copies of Nautical Word Search.

      A. Introduction
              Gather students together to sing a round of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. After the song,
have students close their eyes and imagine that your classroom is boat. Use sound recordings of
the ocean or other water music to set the mood as you describe how your classroom is about to
become a boat.

      B. Lesson Development
            1) Tell students that a good boatbuilder or sailor needs to know the special terms for
            the various parts that make up a boat and how to move safely aboard a vessel. These
            nautical terms allow a boatbuilder or captain to communicate quickly and clearly with

             2) Ask the students to direct you to the front of the classroom. Explain to the students
             that the front of the boat is known as the BOW and label with the appropriate card.
             Then have the students direct you to the back of the classroom and explain that the
             back of a boat is known as the STERN. From there you may label the sides (PORT &
             STARBOARD) explaining how they relate to the front of the boat. For older students use
             movement terms of AFT, AMIDSHIP, & FORWARD as you travel (to go AFT means to
             go to the STERN of the boat). If your classroom has windows label as PORTHOLES, a
             sink can be turned into the GALLEY. The door becomes your COMPANION WAY. The
             bathroom becomes the HEAD. The teachers desk becomes the HELM, the teacher the
             CAPTAIN and your class the CREW.

             3) After labeling the basic parts of your classroom boat”, tell your students that there are
             many more parts to learn, and that not all boats have the same parts. For example, a
             modern day ferry boat does not have a mast.

             4) Place the “Directions on Boats” diagram on the overhead projector, and review the
             simple terms for direction that they have just learned.

             5) Then using overhead transparencies of the “Boat Parts” identification sheets, point out
             the parts and proper names, as a class.

             6) Distribute drawing paper and ask students to draw a boat and label all of the various
             parts. You may want to leave the overhead transparency up for a guide.

      C. Conclusion:
            Distribute the Word Search, and have students locate the nautical terms

     1) Have students use the identification sheet “Directions on a Boat” as a guide, as you direct
     students around the classroom using Simon says substituting the nautical terms such as “The
     captain says go to the STERN”.

      2) Use a ships bell to signal transitions such as time to line up for lunch or listen for directions.

      3) Decorate your classroom with nautical items such as an anchor, life rings, line(rope), ships
      wheel, running lights (red for PORT, green for STERN) and so on.

      4) For younger students have a boat party where students dress in nautical clothing. The
      teacher can wear a captains hat.

      5) Have students sing the Sailors Alphabet song. Have students create their own song with
      nautical words.
Boat Parts

       Deck                        Rudder
       Floor of Boat               Used to steer a boat

       Frames or Ribs              Hull
       Inside skeleton of a boat   Body of a boat

       Keel                        Beam
       Backbone of a boat          Width of a boat

       Outside shell of a boat
Boat Parts

Holds the sails and rigging on a ship

Sails are hung from this timber

Ropes, cables, and other
equipment that support
masts and sails

Boat hull above water


How deep a boat sits in the water
Directions on Boats
                       Front end of a boat

                      Move toward the bow

        Port              Amidship               Starboard
Left side of a boat     Middle of a boat     Right side of a boat

                      Move toward the stern

                       Back end of a boat
Nautical Word Search

           Beam        Keel       Rudder
           Deck        Knee       Spar
           Draft       Mast       Topsides
           Frame       Planking   Waterline
           Hod         Ribs
           Hull        Rigging
Nautical Word Search—Teacher’s Key
The Sailor’s Alphabet
Boats, Boats, Boats
Post-Visit Lesson Plans

      Eagle Inboard Profile and Deck (K. Crisman)
Flags as Alphabet
      For centuries flags have been used to identify ships and pass messages from one vessel to
another. Each signal flag or combination has a different meaning. Flags provide a universal way of
communicating on the water.

      Students will:
            • Become familiar with flags as a form of communication.
            • “Write” and decipher messages using flags.

      • Construction paper or other colored materials
      • Coloring materials
      • The Visual Dictionary of Ships and Sailing, ISBN 1-879431-20-3 (one or more copies)

       Teacher Preparation
              Use The Visual Dictonary of Ships and Sailing to create a large colored chart of the flags
to use as a reference, or have several copies of the book available for students use.

       A. Introduction
               Using your knowledge of the time available and abilities of your class and determine how
the flags will be made. You may create outlines for each of the signal flags for the students to color
or have students create flags through cut and paste or drawing free hand. Place flags on your board
to spell out a special message for your students. As they arrive, ask them if they can tell you what it
means. Explain to the students that they are going to discover the special language of mariners.

      B. Lesson Development
            1) Explain that flags have been used for centuries to identify ships and pass messages
            from one vessel to another. Show students the chart and explain that each flag is a
            symbol for the letters of the alphabet.

             2) Have the students create the corresponding flags out of construction paper or some
             other appropriately colored material. You may want to assign the letters of the alphabet
             by having your students draw letters out of a captains hat or using the initials of their
             names. For younger students photocopy the flags with the letter below and have them
             fill in the spaces with the correct colors.

             3) After the flags are completed, place each one below its corresponding letter along
             the wall.

             4) Have the class decipher your secret message

       C. Conclusion
              Have students, working in small groups, take turns writing and decoding messages
made with the “new” flag alphabet. Have a discussion with students about the pros and cons of using
flags as a form of communication. Ask the students how boats communicate today (i.e. short wave
radio, VHF, morse code, cellular phones).
Flags as Message
       For older students you may wish to introduce the topic of flags as messages. Each flag has
a meaning separate from its alpha letter. Mariners commonly fly flags to convey these secondary
meanings. In one flag a boat can quickly and clearly convey if they are in trouble or a hazard to

      Students will:
            • Recognize selected international code flags and be able to identify the messages
            which correspondences to it.
            • Use these flags to communicate with teacher and other students.

      • The Visual Dictonary of Ships and Sailing
      • Drawing paper and other coloring materials

      Teacher Preparation
              Prepare flags representing individual letters to spell out the message “man overboard,”
along with a separate “O” flag, which has a secondary meaning of “man overboard.”

        A. Introduction:
                Have students discuss messages that they might want to be able to send if they were
traveling on a boat.

      B. Lesson Development
            1) Have students tell you how to spell out the commonly heard phrase “man overboard”
            with individual letters from the international code flags.

             2) Ask students to consider how long the process might take in a real emergency.

             3) Show the students the flag “O” and explain how it has a secondary meaning of
             “man overboard.”

              4) Using a selected group of solo international code flags go over the messages that
             apply to each flag.

        C. Conclusion:
               Have students, working in small groups, take turns writing and decoding solo interna-
tional code flags.

     1) Select appropriate flags for signals or messages in your classroom and use these to
     communicate (i.e. the “V” flag which also means “I require assistance” or “C” which means

      2) Have students create a flag to represent themselves. These can be posted on a bulletin
      board with individuals names or self portraits. Display flags on board instead of names when
you need to speak with a student.
Why Boats Float
       If a boat is to float it must displace enough water to support its weight. The weight of the boat
must be less then the weight of an equal volume of water. The larger the surface area of the boat the
more likely it is to float. An increase in density because of overloading or taking on water, whether from
above or below, can cause a ship to sink.

      Students will:
            • Experiment with density by creating a boat that will float and explore the effects of
            carrying cargo.
            • Be able to explain in their own words why boats float.

      • Container(s) for water
      • Plasticine clay
      • Paper towels

     Teacher Preparation
           Prepare equal quantities of plasticine to construct boats.

       A. Introduction:
               Have students think of things that float (ie: wood, beach balls, inner tubes). Ask if any of
the students have ever tried to push a beach ball under water. What happened? Why?

       B. Lesson development:
             1) Have students work in small groups. Give each group 2 equal sized balls of clay (oil
             base) approximately 1” in diameter

              2) With one ball of clay, have the students make a boat hull (the body of a boat). Leave
              the second ball of clay round.

              3) Have students gently lower the ball and the boat in the water at the same time and
              note what happens

              4) Have the students imagine that they were going to use the boat to move cargo (like
              food, bricks or iron). With a set measure (like paper clips or pennies) have the students
              experiment with “load capacity.”

              5) Have students experiment with different boat shapes and sizes. Some possible
              suggestions for students who are having trouble include: no holes in the boat, making
              the sides taller, make the boat hull thinner, placing “cargo” in to the boat gently(if the
              surface tension of the water is broken the object is likely to sink), insure that both the
              boat and the cargo are dry before beginning the experiment.

       C. Conclusion:
             Ask students to describe what happened with their boats? What shapes floated? What
shapes sank? How does the shape of the boat affect how much it will hold? How does the size of a
boat affect what and how much it will hold?

     1) Read Curious George Rides A Bike and have students make paper boats after reading
     the story

      2) Have students create boats out of different materials (aluminum foil, recycled containers,
      wood, cork, etc.) and compare cargo load capacity between vessels.

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