The Titanic was a luxury passenger liner on a voyage from England, headed for New York. The ship, which sank in April 1912 before reaching its destination, is an interesting subject for kids who want to learn about history, science and archaeology. Activities involving the sinking of the Titanic range from art projects to science experiments and historical timelines. You can choose several different approaches when teaching children the history of the Titanic.
Have the children create a diorama, which is a three-dimensional, smaller representation of a scene. The kids could make a diorama of a certain part of the ship, like the captain's quarters, a first class state room, or where coal was loaded to power the ship. Encourage the children to find information through videos, literature and online resources of what these areas of the Titanic looked like. If there is no exact description, have the kids make a diorama of what they think the places may have looked like.
Divide the children into small groups of about four to six. Ask each group to come up with a short skit of what life might have been like for passengers and crew on the Titanic. Have them write out a short scene, with period dialogue, costumes and even props. They could act out a scene of a conversation with the captain of the ship, a first class dinner on the ship, or what chaos of getting into a life boat before the ship sank.
Have your children, either individually or in groups, create a timeline of the night when the Titanic sank. Specific times for crucial events like when the ship struck the iceberg, when the first SOS call was put out, and when the ship had completely sunk in the water should be written out on the timeline. Have them illustrate the timeline with pictures or cutouts from magazines, through online resources, or by drawings they have created.
Biographies of Famous Passengers
Another historical option is to have your kids write reports about famous passengers of the ship, such as the ship's builder, Thomas Andrews; the "unsinkable" Molly Brown; or Captain Edward J. Smith. The report should be written like a biography of the famous passenger the student chooses. Students can give an oral presentation of their findings on poster board with facts and pictures, through a slideshow presentation, or by acting out scenes with the passenger the student is reporting on.