5th Grade Titanic Museum
Posted On:
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
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As part of the English Language Art curriculum 5th grade students at Veterans Park School have recently focused on the genre of nonfiction. To evaluate student abilities in navigating and comprehending nonfiction text and build a stronger foundation for content-area learning students were introduced to the story of the Titanic.  

Students read articles and researched websites to gain background knowledge about the Titanic. They learned that the British passenger cruise ship sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg. As a result, more than more than 1,500 people died during this, its maiden voyage, from Southampton England to New York City.

Mrs. Kaitlin Cookish, 5th grade ELA Special Education Inclusion Teacher, explained that once students had the background information about the Titanic they were assigned a final project to strengthen and extend their nonfiction comprehension skills. Cookish explained, “All fifth grade students were instructed to choose a topic that intrigued them during our study on the Titanic, and research that topic further. For example, they might have researched about the three passenger classes, how the sunken Titanic was discovered, or learned more about a specific passenger.”

Following the research component, students designed, planned and developed their project to display the information in the classrooms for others to review and enjoy.  Cookish shared that options included creating a visual model, portraying a specific passenger, creating a diorama, poster board, Google Slides, or Prezi.  The result was a unique and amazing Titanic Museum.

The excitement and enthusiasm of the students participating in the museum was overwhelming. "This project was very educational and I learned so much about passengers on the Titanic by visiting other classrooms and asking questions about other passengers,” commented Mary Zachara.  “My absolute favorite part was researching my passenger Dorothy Gibson.  I learned so much about her fascinating life."  

"The thing I liked best  was putting myself inside of the person, and acting like you are the person.  It's kind of like empathy in a way,” shared Michael Ferrara.

“I liked that we got to choose what we wanted to do and we had plenty of time to get get it done- we weren’t rushed,” said Emma Arocho.  “I loved that everyone got to come and see all the hard work we’ve done.”

“This project encouraged students to go beyond memorizing facts and to use higher order thinking,” explained 5th grade ELA teacher, Mrs. Amy Brown.  “Higher order thinking challenges students to go further than simply restating the facts; it requires that students do something with the information they’ve learned. For example, they might infer how a passenger would feel, connect their knowledge of the timeline to a particular passenger or put their knowledge of events together in new creative ways. This project was the perfect opportunity for our students to demonstrate their skills.”

The Veterans Park Titanic Museum allowed students the venue to extend their knowledge by both learning from, and teaching each other in an exciting, interesting and educationally challenging environment.  As Natalia Clark stated, “It was really fun and great that others got to see what we like, what we think, what we learned.”

Below is a photo montage from the event.


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