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What is the purpose of these particular cartoons during the War of ? Are there any political cartoons that are published today? Scour local or national newspapers with your students for something similar, and learn about current events through the vehicle of political cartoons.

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The hand-colored restrike prints were made in the 20th century from a set of plates originally drawn and etched by artist Nicholas Pocock — in , and engraved by Robert and Daniel Havell. He asked that the flag instead be shown lowered to indicate the British ship has surrendered. In , artist George Ropes, Jr. One serving size equals enough for one sailor.

Encourage students to use multiplication, conversions, and fractions to make enough food for everyone aboard Constitution in How much of each ingredient will you need? Have your students record a detailed log of what they eat during a hour period, including snacks and beverages. What has changed over time, and why?

The copper prevents mollusks from boring into the wooden hull planks and destroying them. Check your local hardware store for a strip of copper and a block of wood. Have students compare the properties of each type of material.

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What are the pros and cons of using these materials in building a ship like Constitution? Play fun directional games with your students! These two games help students understand the cardinal points and give them practice with compasses. The more advanced game also encourages giving and listening to clear directions. Discover these artifacts with your students and compare the elements of noise loud, shrill, or private with the intent behind the message. Who was the message communicated to, and why? How are the articles similar? How are they different? This simple scientific experiment allows students to make predictions and test them.

They must steer the ship using cardinal directions and landmarks to reach the injured American ship, but there are many obstacles in their way. Students will learn that magnetic attraction and direction are related, and will use direction and locations with a homemade compass to help Constitution find her way. Student can use a real artifact and a compass card for inspiration in designing their homemade compass. This compass card the image behind the dial on a compass was made by Samuel Emery of Salem, Massachusetts in the early 19th century.

It shows the cardinal points north, south, east, west , intermediate points, and degrees. This activity is the advanced version of the Cardinal Points Game, which helps students understand north, south, east, and west by practicing with compasses. This advanced version encourages giving and understanding clear directions. This activity is the simple version of the Cardinal Points Game, which helps students understand north, south, east, and west by practicing with compasses. Monogrammed bottles like this, which were kept and refilled over and over, graced the tables of many American gentlemen in the early 19th century.

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The wardrooms of the early frigates abounded with tableware such as this decanter, but few shipboard objects as fragile as this survive today. Listen to some early American tunes with your students, just as officers and sailors did during their time off duty. This is a list of popular songs from the early 19th century, with suggestions on where to find them.


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Older students might be inspired to take on a research project in conjunction with their music class or musical extracurricular activities. Life aboard ship was a highly regulated environment with bells ringing every half hour. How big was the berth deck where sailors slept? With your students, calculate the surface area of the berth deck and the average size of a sailor and a hammock to figure out how many sailors could sleep at the same time.

Using a half-hour glass to measure 30 minutes, a sailor struck the bell for eight half-hour intervals, adding an additional strike for every half hour. Eight strikes of the bell signified four hours had passed and the watch was over. How many sailors could sleep on the berth deck at one time? Introduce your students to the life of Surgeon Amos Evans. Life aboard a naval warship during the War of was extremely difficult. Sailors had to deal with dangers posed by illness, accidents, and battle injuries. Naval ships like USS Constitution had a surgeon doctor aboard who was responsible for the health of a crew of up to officers, sailors, and Marines.

Medicine in the 19th century centered on the idea of humors within the body: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. An imbalance of the humors made one ill and medicines were used to regain balance. They will go on to investigate the properties of drugs he most likely had at his disposal, study a primary source quote from him, and diagnose a crew member.

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Included in the lesson plan are primary sources and artifacts. An page essay on the life and work of Dr. Students can view a chest full of medicines used during the midth century. Vitamin C ascorbic acid is an important nutrient found in some foods. While citrus fruits are a well-known source of vitamin C, it is also found in lots of other foods.

A severe lack of vitamin C in the diet causes a condition called scurvy, which was common in the early 19th century among sailors at sea with limited access to fresh food. This simple guessing game helps students learn about the different foods that contain vitamin C. Challenge your students to guess which ones have vitamin C and flip them over to find out the answer! Ask your students to take a closer look at some of the ingredients. What factors would make it easy or difficult to access, store, and prepare these ingredients at sea?

Consider the environment, the time out to sea without any port calls stops ashore , and the current technology in Have you ever heard of a mess hall or scuttlebutt? Encourage your students to pick a word or phrase from this Salty Talk list and research its meaning and origins.

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Ask your students to identify what the phrases mean today and speculate on their evolution. Why would a sailor save this biscuit? Can you imagine saving a piece of bread today?


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Can you think of other food or personal items people might save as souvenirs? Knots were vital tools for sailors and each type of knot accomplished a different task. In order to shorten sail or bring up the sail cloth, sailors had to learn and practice the reef knot and then be able to tie it while aloft.

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Let your students try their hands at this task. Use these directions and a short piece of rope like a shoelace to tie three different types of knots. To further the lesson, ask your students write their own directions for tying shoes—easier said than done! When the officer in charge ordered all hands to shorten sail, each of these men scampered to their assigned position to heft in the heavy canvas sails.

Can your students count how many men were needed to reef, or pull up and tie, each sail? The boatswain traditionally carried a pipe or whistle on a lanyard around his neck as a badge of office. This hand-colored engraving by E. Duncan, after W. Huggins, portrays sailors reefing, or hauling in, a sail high above a ship. This is one of the few works depicting common sailors aboard ship completing daily duties.

Although navy sailors were often required to work in silence, some merchant sailors during the early 19th century sang chanties to coordinate their work.

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For example, the refrain of the song indicated when to pull on a rope together, while singing a song made monotonous work less loathsome. Sailors aboard USS Constitution used many different blocks, or pulleys, to lift and haul objects and other items. Upon returning home, Captain Isaac Hull was showered with praise and gifts for having led the crew to victory in the battle against HMS Guerriere.

The citizens of Philadelphia honored him with a silver urn crafted by Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner that is full of symbolism. Together as a class, decode the piece to understand all the hidden messages the urn is trying to convey. This bronze commemorative medal was awarded to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his crew for their victory at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, One is a late 19th century oil painting by Marshall Johnson and the other is a c.

Sailors enjoyed their success and were awarded with extra pay called prize money. How much did they get? Introduce your students to Jesse Williams, a free black man who served aboard Constitution and later earned an extra two years of wages in prize money after the Battle of Lake Erie. What do you think Williams did with his prize money? Learn more about Williams and his naval career.