Extra! Extra! Titanic Sinks
Students act as journalists to relate the dramatic story of the sinking of the Titanic on April 12, 1912.
- Grades: 3–5
Students will gain a new perspective when they step back in time to create their very own newspaper page filled with facts about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Prior to the lessons in this unit, students will have spent 1-2 weeks reading, listening to, and discussing expository material on the Titanic. In this unit, they assume the roles of reporters, editors, and even survivors in order to put together a comprehensive front-page newspaper report that alerts the world to the disaster. Although these lessons focus on the Titanic tragedy, they can easily be adapted for use with other disasters or world events you may be teaching about in your classroom.
- Retell the story of the Titanic by writing a concise summary article about the disaster
- Write critical-thinking questions about the disaster in order to conduct an interview
- Listen and take notes during a live interview
- Be able to answer five interview questions regarding the sinking with factual accounts
- Compare and contrast different accounts of an event
- Understand the cause-and-effect relationship that led to the sinking of the Titanic
- Follow step-by step directions to put their article and interview into a front-page news format
Lesson Plans for this Unit
The culmination of this unit is the final display of all the newspapers in the school hallway. My students beam with pride as their hard work is showcased, and each year former students stop by to admire the annual display of newspapers and comment on their memories of "Titanic." I realized a few years ago the positive impact these newspapers made when two students I had taught several years earlier told me they still had their papers hanging up in their rooms. There are few third-grade projects that would still elicit pride from a middle-school student!