Lesson Plan : Ship Building in Milton

Teacher Name:
 Mimi Walls
Grade:
 Grade 2
Subject:
 Interdisciplinary

Topic:
 The history of ship building in Milton
Content:
 Geography- How the river and natural resources affected the settlement of Milton. Math- Relating the size of the ships to the room dimensions. History- The story of building ships in Milton through the 1800's. Vocabulary- shallop, schooner
Goals:
 The students will understand how the geography of the area influenced the development and the demise of the industry of ship building. They will be able to envision the size of the ships, the cargo and the various destinations.
Objectives:
 Through question and answer the students will verbalize that 300 years ago people came to Milton because of the river, good farmland and woods. Given a map of the United States students will be able to point to Delaware, New York, Philadelphia and Cuba. Given a map of Sussex County they will be able to point to Milton and explain why many towns were located inland on rivers. Using discussion and pictures, the students will be able to tell the difference between shallops and schooners-their size, function, and importance.
Materials:
 United Staes map, Sussex County map, pictures of a shallop and schooners
Introduction:
 Why did your parents choose to live in Milton? What is there about Milton that makes people want to live here? Why did people come here 300 years ago?
Development:
 Discuss the Broadkill River- Its name is Dutch- kill means river. In those days it was a very wide or broad river and boats could come up it from the Atlantic Ocean. Using a map of Sussex County show how many of the towns were started because they were at the point in the river where boats could travel upstream no further. Introduce the word shallop and show the picture of the shallop. These were open boats that usually held only 2 people and carried people and farm products up and down the rivers. They were used very much like a pickup truck is used today. Introduce the word schooner. Show a picture of the James M. Carey. Talk about its size- 68.5 X 24 X 5.5 feet, and compare that to the main room in the museum. The cargo of schooners was food,wood, charcoal, and grain and they were taken from Milton to Philadelphia and New York.Show those locations on the US map. Then products such as sugar would be brought back to be sold in Milton and surrounding areas. Where do you buy sugar today? How does that store get it? Schooners are like the big delivery trucks used today. The Thomas Winsmore was one of the largest boats built in Milton. It was 136 feet long and 36 feet wide. That size can be shown outside with stakes in the lot beside the museum. This ship was built in Milton and then had to be towed to Philadelphia to have its sails and rigging attached because it was so big. Because of its larger size it was able to travel in the ocean and traveled from New York to Cuba carrying coal, lumber and sugar. All of the boats were built from the tall white oaks that grew in this area. The trees had to be more than 60 feet tall to be used. After many years of cutting there were fewer and fewer trees to use.
Accommodations:
 Vary the size of the group and the vocabulary according to the needs of the group.
Checking For Understanding:
 Ask lots of questions. Involve the students in the discussion. Continuously relate the information to their lives. Keep them as active participants in the discussion.
Closure:
 Are ships still built in Milton? Could a big ship come up the Broadkill? The river got more narrow and shallower and there were fewer trees. Sailing ships were replaced by ships with motors and trains, so the ship building industry left Milton about 100 years ago. All we have left are pictures, tools, books and other interesting pieces of history.

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