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Shipbuilding Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast lesson plan

OVERVIEW

Shipbuilding is an industry and tradition that is deeply rooted in the history of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is an industry that developed with other industries, such as the seafood industry, and can be traced back to the French settlement of the region in the 1700s. Although the region was dominated by various European nations and eventually became a part of the United States, shipbuilding consistently flourished as control of the region changed hands. The shipbuilding industry along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has grown from a family business passed down from one generation to the next to a major supplier of vessels for recreation, tourism, pleasure, and national defense.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3 and 4.

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 7 through 12

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Pen/pencil
Overhead projector
Overhead pen and transparency
Whiteboard or chalkboard
Notebook paper
Mississippi History Now article Shipbuilding Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Activity cards

OBJECTIVES

  • Identify key terms and people significant in the development of the shipbuilding industry.
  • Construct a timeline of key events in the development of shipbuilding along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Determine key factors that made shipbuilding possible along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

OPENING THE LESSON

The teacher will ask the students to name current industries located in Mississippi today. As the students share responses, the teacher will record the items on the board. If the students do not mention shipbuilding, the teacher can add this industry to the list. After the student responses have been added to the board, the teacher will tell the students that over the next several days they will study one of the Mississippi industries – shipbuilding.

The teacher can also ask the students if they have ever been on a boat or ship. Students can also share their experiences with the class.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

For this portion of the lesson, the students can work with a partner or be placed in groups of no more than three. The teacher will copy and give each group a set of Shipbuilding Activity Cards that is located at the end of the lesson. The students will be instructed to scan the Mississippi History Now article in order to match the term to the correct description. Once each group has completed the activity, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share their matches.

The students will use the Mississippi History Now article to construct a timeline of ten key events in the history of shipbuilding along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  The students can work alone or with a partner to complete the timeline. Students can be creative in the design of their timelines. They may want to use a sailing ship or the mast of a ship as their timeline.

Once the students complete their timelines, the teacher will ask for student volunteers to share with the class the events they have listed on their timeline. 

For this portion of the lesson, students can work with a partner or in groups of no more than three.  The teacher will place on the board the chart found at the end of the lesson plan.  Students will be instructed to copy the chart into their notebooks.  The teacher will instruct the students to list four to five examples of how each category or factor played a part in the development of shipbuilding along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

Once the students complete the chart, the teacher will lead a class discussion about how each of the three factors or categories listed on the chart played a part in the development of the shipbuilding industry.  The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share information from their group charts to facilitate the class discussion.

Using the information listed on the charts, each student group will compose an essay about the factors necessary to develop the shipbuilding industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

CONCLUDING THE LESSON

The student groups will share their essays with the class.

ASSESSING THE LESSON

• Class participation
• Timelines
• Charts
• Activity cards
• Essays 


EXTENDING THE LESSON

  • Invite a guest speaker to class to talk about boating safety.
  • Research current shipbuilding companies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Research the types of jobs available in the shipbuilding industry today.
  • Research the types of vessels built by the shipbuilding companies on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Create a crossword puzzle about the history of shipbuilding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Create a festival to celebrate the history of the shipbuilding industry.

The Mississippi History Now articles below can be used along with the shipbuilding article to teach a unit on economic development in South Mississippi:

Gambling in Mississippi: Its Early History

The Seafood Industry in Biloxi: Its Early History, 1848-1930

Making Ice in Mississippi

Not Just Farms Anymore: The Effects of World War II on Mississippi’s Economy


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