All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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Portrait Gallery Worksheet (PDF)

Over her 200-year history, Constitution has played a part in the lives of many remarkable people. The following mini-biographies of some of these people can be copied for student reading or can be read aloud. You might ask students to select the character they identify with the most and to write why they chose this person. Ask them to draw or sketch this person’s portrait using the “snapshot” here as a guide.

Mini-Biographies (PDF)

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K-4 Activity:

Story Time,
Listening and creating a portrait gallery
Read the titles of the stories aloud and ask the class to pick a few stories to read together. What do the titles tell them about the story? Ask students to try to imagine as they listen to the stories what these people looked like. Make copies of the frame in the pocket at the back for students to draw portraits, or have them draw pictures that include some of the details of the lives portrayed. Create a gallery of student pictures and have volunteers act as curators to select and hang the show and docents, or tour guides, to explain what the pictures reveal about the lives of the individuals portrayed.

5-8 Activity:

Who Is Like You?
Writing a short story
Begin by telling the class that there are many different kinds of people who have been involved with Constitution over her long life — from rich and powerful to poor and humble, from immigrants from far away places to home town folks. Read a few of these stories aloud and ask students if they have anything in common with these people, or ask if these people are similar in any way to someone they know. Have students select an individual from Constitution’s Portrait Gallery with whom they can identify and use the biographical sketch as a take off point for writing a short story about something that happened in that individual’s life.

9-12 Activity

“Old Ironsides Jeopardy”
A quiz game unit review
Break the class into four teams and ask each team to create questions for a quiz game from the theme unit under the following four categories: (1)parts of the ship, (2)history, (3)crew and skills, or (4)famous people. Students should write each question and answer on one side of a 3 x 5 card and on the back, assign points, from 100 to 500, depending on the level of difficulty. Write the four
categories on the board and tape the cards in columns under the headings with the points facing out. Read the questions and have one member from each team compete. Allow them to choose a question of any level of difficulty from any category except the one for which they wrote the questions. As soon as a student cannot answer the question, another team member should take his or her place. You might want to make the game more complex by following the rules of the television game of Jeopardy and having the answers be in the form of a question or add “jeopardy” questions, very difficult questions that give contestants an opportunity to dramatically alter their score.

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