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Transatlantic Travels

Design an interactive map with modes of transportation that actually move across the ocean.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to investigate maps of North America and Europe. Locate New York City and Paris, France. Find out about various current modes of transportation between the two cities, including times, flight or cruise paths, distances, vehicle weights, and speeds. Locate similar information about Charles Lindbergh's first transatlantic flight.
    2. Once research is complete, distribute poster board and Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils and/or Color Sticks to students. Using colored pencils or color sticks, students draw a map (to scale) showing the two continents and the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Paris.
    3. Cut small pieces of poster board with Crayola Scissors to make sign posts for the two cities. Attach to the map with a Crayola Washable Glue Stick.
    4. Students make a three-dimensional boat and plane to string from New York to Paris. Cut out the body of an air plane from poster board. Draw the airplane body on each side, then glue on wings cut from poster board. Add a small tab under one wing by gluing two sides of a small piece of poster board to the wing, leaving the middle of the tab pulled away from the wing a bit. Dry. Thread string or yarn through the tab, anchoring the ends to New York and Paris.
    5. To make the boat, fold a small piece of poster board in half and draw each side of a boat. Place string inside the fold, then glue the bottom inside edges together. Be sure to keep string from sticking to glue. Anchor the ends of the string to both cities.
    6. Create fact cards by folding index cards or poster board cut to size. Use Crayola Washable Markers to write topics on the outside of cards and information inside. Glue cards to empty spaces on the map.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    SS: Identify examples of institutions and describe the interactions of people with institutions.

    SS: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people, such as in homemaking, childcare, work, transportation, and communication.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Charles Lindbergh - A Short Biography for Kids by Jonathan Madden; Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero by James Cross Giblin; Charles Lindbergh, Graphic Biography by Saddleback Educational Publishing; Charles Lindbergh (Photo Illustrated Biographies) by Lucile Davis; Flight by Robert Burleigh

    Students work in small groups to develop a timeline of events that led to Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. Encourage the group to include symbols of each milestone included on the timeline.

    Students research the life of Charles Lindbergh, including his childhood, family life, accomplishments as an aviator, and military life. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Create a transatlantic map of the famous Lindbergh flight from New York to Paris. Include details of the journey on fact cards. Create and illustrate a 3-D paper airplane that can be staged at different points of the trip to match facts presented to classmates during an oral presentation.

    Prior to Lindbergh's flight in 1927, what modes of transportation were used by immigrants coming to the United States from other parts of the world? What port(s) did immigrants come through upon arriving in the U.S.? Investigate one of these ports. Gather data on the number of immigrants processed and over what period of time. What was the experience of processing like for the immigrants?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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