K-2 Activities

These activities for Ships and Shipbuilding were updated along with the Learning Results sections in late 2008 and early 2009.

Ideas to try....

Learn more about boatbuilding and shipbuilding in Maine today. Some builders still make wooden boats. Others use different materials. What made Maine a good place to build boats in the past? What about today? Do you know any boat builders? Would you like to build a boat? What do you think you would need to know?

English Language Arts
Look at different kinds of woods. How are they similar and how are they different?

Learn how a wooden ship has similarities to the human body:  both have a backbone, ribs, and skin.

Read or listen to a story about the days of wooden shipbuilding in Maine.

Choose one type of vessel from handouts. Describe it, comparing and contrasting with other kinds.

Vessels can be organized in several ways (size, rigging, capacity, number of masts, ocean vs. coastal use). Use cutouts for math activities, including patterns, graphs, addition, subtraction, and categorization.

Science and Technology
Describe the motion of a sailing vessel. How does it move against the wind? How do your model boats move? When steam power came along, how did the movement of vessels change? What was the energy source for sailing vessels? Steam vessels? How did they differ in use of natural resources and waste products?

Geography and Economics
Learn more about the countries that Maine sailors visited aboard their ships in the 19th century. What questions would you ask if you were a sailor visiting China or India for the first time? For more information on the lives of merchant captains, crews, and families, see our unit on Life at Sea.

Make a trade map—find samples of products like sugar and coal, and place them on their countries of origin. Make charts of consumers and producers using fictitious people living in different countries.

Create maritime art: use drawing, painting, collage, etc. to show different kinds of vessels. Why did Captains and sailors often make models and commission paintings of their vessels?  See our unit on Marine Art.

Build model boats using cardboard, wood, Styrofoam, or other creative materials. Work as a team.  Dictate or write a sequential set of directions for building your model. Present, explain, and demonstrate your model to the class.

Grades K-2