All Stations! Distress! April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank By: Don Brown Library of Congress Summary: Presents an illustrated account of the Titanic's deadly voyage on April 12, 1912, when two thousand passengers, rich and poor alike, fought to survive the tragedy while partially filled lifeboats launched into the night with seven hundred people as some family members stayed behind. Book Information: Time Period: 1912 Genre: Nonfiction Curriculum Ties: 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic Booktalk: http://www.mackinbooktalk.com/viewbook.aspx?BookId=1463 Author Information http://www.booksbybrown.com/ Site provides information about the titles he has written, upcoming works, and contact information. Pre-Reading Activities o Arrange to have a video clip (online or through National Geographic tapes) showing the actual video footage from the current deep sea dives exploring the wreckage of the actual Titanic. o Students may be placed in groups and given mini-research topics to share with the class. If a computer lab is available, have them research the topics in class. Topics could include the following: the beginnings of the Titanic (why and how it was built), the intended voyage of the Titanic (including a map of the journey), and biographies/personal stories of survivors of the Titanic. Questions Section 1 (pp. 1 -17) o Why was the Titanic built? Who was in charge of the process? o What was the Titanic’s destination? o What types of people chose to be passengers on its maiden voyage? o What was did the Titanic’s first Morse code message say? Journal Topic: If you were a passenger on the Titanic’s first voyage, where do you think you would have stayed on the ship? What would you have planned to do for the journey? Section 2 (pp.18 -33) o Who were the first people to the lifeboats? o Had either the crew or the passengers practiced any emergency procedures? o List a few of the people who chose not to board the lifeboats. Why did they stay behind? Journal Topic: Why do you think that the designers did not put enough lifeboats on board? Do we still allow ships and airplanes to not be prepared? Do you think that the architects and captains are responsible for not having enough lifeboats? Section 3 (pp. 34 -46) o Who was left onboard in the lower levels after the lifeboats had been filled? o How did one of the passengers (Lighttoller) describe the Titanic’s dive as it eventually completely sank? o As the ship became vertical, what did the ship’s baker, Charles Joughin, do? Journal Topic: Many, many of the “poor” passengers were not allowed up to the deck to board lifeboats. Is that fair? Whose fault is this? Section 4 (pp. 47-58 ) o What ship came to rescue the survivors of the shipwreck? o How many people survived the Titanic’s wreck? o What was the name of the Broadway play and movie that honored survivor Margaret Brown? o What happened to Bruce Ismay, owner of the White Star Lines? Journal Topics: Two boats (the Carpathian and the Californian) heard the Titanic’s pleas for survival and help. Only one answered them. Why do you think that happened? Imagine you were a passenger on the Titanic that survived the shipwreck. Write a letter that would be sent to your family back home as if they did not know what had happened. What happened to you? How did you arrive safely? Vocabulary o Transatlantic (p. 4): crossing or reaching across the Atlantic: a transatlantic liner o Steerage: (p.5 ): (in a passenger ship) the part or accommodations allotted to the passengers who travel at the cheapest rate o Starboard (p. 9): the right-hand side of or direction from a vessel or aircraft, facing forward. o Bow (p. 9): the forward end of a vessel or airship. o Morse Code (p. 13): A code developed by Samuel Morse used for transmitting messages in which letters of the alphabet and numbers are represented by various sequences of written dots and dashes, or short and long signals such as electric tones or voltages. Morse code was used extensively in telegraphy. In a format that has been standardized for international use, it is still sometimes used for long distance radio communication. o Tiller (p.28): a bar or lever fitted to the head of a rudder, for turning the rudder in steering. o Derelict (p.55) left or deserted, as by the owner or guardian; abandoned o Controversy (p.55): contention, strife, or argument o Maiden voyage (p. 56): the first voyage of a ship after its acceptance by the owners from the builders. Interdisciplinary Activities Social Studies Students will construct timelines of the events of the Titanic, both to the specific events during April 15, 1912, but also compared to the larger prospective: World War I, the Great Depression, etc. Language Arts Students will keep a journal of their thoughts regarding the Titanic. A comparison could be made from their prior knowledge about the subject and the actual events and stories told in All Stations! Distress! Students will write a “letter” to a transportation service or school board, thanking them for their emergency guidelines and drills that are in place to protect them and prepare us for disasters. Other Books by Don Brown Ruth Law Thrills a Nation Across a Dark & Wild Sea Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure Kid Blink Beats the World One Giant Leap Mack Made Movies Rare Treasure American Boy Uncommon Traveler Odd Boy Out A Voice from the Wilderness Far Beyond the Garden Gate Bright Path Notorious Izzy Fink Teedie Let It Begin Here! The Good Lion The Train Jumper A Wizard from the Start America Is Under Attack: The Day the Towers Fell Dolley Madison Saves George Washington Related Reads: Exploring the Titanic by Robert Ballard Heroine of the Titanic: the Real Unsinkable Molly Brown by Elaine Landau No Moon by Irene Watts On Board the Titanic: What It Was Like When the Great Polar, the Titanic Bear by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden Terror on the Titanic by Jim Wallace Titanic: a nonfiction companion to Tonight on the Titanic by Will Osborne Titanic: the Ship of Dreams by Ken Geist Titanic Crossing by Barbara Williams Titanicat by Marty Crisp Voyage on the Great Titanic: the Diary of Margaret Ann Brady by Ellen Emerson White White Star: a dog on the Titanic by Marty Crisp Related Websites o http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/titanic/titanic.html The Discovery Channel has created this interactive website to investigate the mystery and story of the Titanic. o http://www.theteachersguide.com/Titanic.html This website is written by teachers for teachers. Available are lesson plans for specific grades, subjects, and books geared towards teaching about the Titanic. There are also timelines, personal stories and biographies, and activities for teachers to use in their own classrooms.
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