Education:World History "Fleet Week"


Grade 9 / World History

Time Required for Completed Lesson

1 class period to present materials, 2 weeks out of class preparation for student presentation preparation, 1 week of time for student presentation and competitions (time can be given for in class preparation; student presentation and competition time can be shortened) this time frame is depended on number of students


6.2.12.B.1.b, 6.2.12.C.1.b, 6.2.12.C.1.e, 6.2.12.D.1.c, 6.2.12.D.2.c, 6.2.12.A.3.g, 6.2.12.C.3.b, 6.2.12.C.3.d, 6.2.12.D.3.d, 6.2.12.C.5.d, 6.2.12.C.5.g

Common Core State Standards

RH.11-12.9. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

RST.11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.


presentation boards, art supplies, recycled materials, lap top cart or multimedia center access, presentation areas, small kiddie pools, water, obstacles, small fans and awards

Anticipatory Set

September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day – this day would make for an interesting initial frame for the lesson. Introduce students to the importance of the sea, sea travel and transportation of goods. Briefly trace major technological advancements in ship building and use that will be discussed through the course of the year (caravels, slaver, clipper, cargo and wind-powered cargo ships) If you are courageous enough to take advantage of International Talk like a Pirate Day you can you use your pirate vocabulary to capture the imagination of your students.


Each class of students is broken up into small groups (3-4) students. Each small group of students is assigned a ship design (caravel, slaver, clipper, cargo, and wind-powered cargo) to replicate with various recycled materials (plastic container, cardboard, metal can etc.) Students groups have two weeks to complete their replicas which are due on the first day of ‘Fleet Week.’ It is suggested that at some half-way point students are required to present an indication of their work in progress. Larger groups of students (students with similar topics from different classes) work together to plan and present a display based on the technological advancements of their ship design – also due on the first day of ‘Fleet Week.’ Activities during ‘Fleet Week’ can include distance and speed competitions, maneuverability and cargo competitions. Competition results can be recorded and analyzed.


Pair students with a higher level learner to help with activities. Share additional notes with students and if necessary extend due dates. Additional work – in – progress indicators can be included.


Group Project / Presentation Rubric


Language Arts (presentation skills, research skills); Mathematics (probability and statistics can be explored during ‘Fleet Week’ competitions) ** ‘Fleet Week’ can be expanded and modified to include US History I and US History II military vessels.


At the end of ‘Fleet Week’ the completed rubrics are returned the students, competition prizes can be awarded and the replicas can be used throughout the year during classroom discussions about the Age of Exploration, Columbian Exchange, Imperialism, International Trade and Environmental Sustainability.