Popular K-12 Lesson Plans Now Available for Free on the Web

December 03, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News

Popular Lesson Plans Now Available for Free on the Web

Boston, Mass. — December 3, 2005 — Educators can now download the award-winning K-12 curriculum All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides” from the Web at no cost. The curriculum, previously available only as a workbook, uses one of the United States’ most colorful and beloved icons to teach a range of subjects and was developed by the USS Constitution Museum. All materials are free to download at www.allhandsondeck.org.

“The demand for the hardcopy of the curriculum was overwhelming,” says Kristin Gallas, director of education and interpretation at the museum, “and using the Internet was the logical way to make All Hands on Deck available, for free, around the world. Teachers can access all of the core knowledge and activities, as well as a streaming video for use in their classrooms.” Gallas says the curriculum materials are also popular with parents who are homeschooling their children.

The fourteen free lesson plans use the frigate USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812, as a vehicle to explore a wide range of disciplines including social studies, language arts, reading, math, science, and art. The 208-year history of “Old Ironsides,” the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, is the springboard for a curriculum with fascinating and varied content scope, including critical thinking, making tables and diagrams, solving math problems, and writing essays and poems. Life skills that stress the value of cooperation, persistence, creativity, and ingenuity are also included.

Initial response to the online site for All Hands on Deck has been positive. Typical of the feedback is a comment by Barbara Jaglia, an instructional technology specialist. She says, “The website is easy to navigate. The blank worksheets that correspond to the activities are great for students who have difficulty working online!”

Educators can search the online curriculum by discipline, subject, skill, and grade level to find the lesson plans and activities that match their needs. The four sections of the curriculum cover USS Constitution’s construction (“Building a Ship, Building a Nation”), the crew and the teamwork required to sail and fight on the ship (“Test of Courage”), her accomplishments in battle (“Regimen for Victory”), and her preservation (“Staying Power”). The online companion site for the popular curriculum was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and a private foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.

Each of the four sections has recommended resources, including books and articles, field trips, movies, music, and games, and a list of items to have on hand. An imaginative and diverse section called “Scuttlebutt” gives a sampling of literature, humorous tales, and interesting historical facts and anecdotes to extend the lesson. The section’s name is an example: a scuttlebutt was a ship’s water barrel where crew could get a drink and converse with mates, hence the modern usage of the term.

The Museum based the curriculum on national social studies standards and has indexed it to the standards for several states including IL, MD, WA, SC, TN, MO, TX, NM, CO, MT, and VA.

The USS Constitution Museum is located adjacent to the famous ship in the Boston National Historical Park, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston. Every year more than 250,000 visitors visit the museum and board “Old Ironsides.”