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Writing Assignments For The Titanic

Today we begin the third phase of our Titanic unit: opinion writing. This is new for third grade and I thought that incorporating this type of writing with our research of the Titanic would work well. Students are excited about the topic and are full of ideas and opinions about it.

I ask students to pull out their Titanic research packets and join me in the meeting area. I explain to students that this week’s focus is opinion writing. I remind students that we have practiced this skill, in small ways, throughout the year using our Scholastic magazines. In each issue, there typically is a “Debate It” section where two students give their opinions on an issue. Oftentimes, we will “debate” these topics as a class, usually doing so orally rather than writing down our opinions with support. Today we begin the writing process.

For the next few days, we will practice responding to prompts about the Titanic based on what we’ve learned through our research. Because we are writing about how we feel, not everyone’s writing will be the same. And that’s ok! However, although the content of our pieces might differ, all pieces will follow a similar structure.

In order to have a strong argument, we must support our opinions with reasons and evidence. I point students’ attention to our “Strong Arguments” anchor chart. I explain that each of our pieces this week will follow this structure:

O – stating our opinion about the topic

R – giving our first reason for why we feel this way

E – providing an explanation for this reason (or evidence from our research)

R – giving a second reason for our opinion

E – explaining this reason (or another piece of evidence)

C – concluding our piece by restating our opinion

I ask students to return to their desks in order to complete the first part of our writing prompt. 

K-2: Travel Words & Images

Ships are just one way people travel. What are some other ways people get from one place to another?

For each form of travel, write the word and then draw a picture that represents that travel option.

3-5: The 3-D Difference Debate

Do you like movies better in standard 2-D or in 3-D? What do you think is so appealing about the 3-D experience?

In 3-5 sentences, describe why you think people like seeing 3-D movies.

6-8: Historical Fiction Writing

The movie Titanic created a fictional story that included real-life facts from the famous sinking of the Titanic. It even included characters based on real people and specific details about famous historical event.

Identify a historical event you’ve studied in school. Write a short story (3-5 paragraphs) that details the experience of a person living through this historical event. You should include at least 3 details you know to be true about this event and include at least one character based on a real person. Other than that, you can create your own main characters and storyline.

9-12: Sinking Soundtrack Response & Research

As is shown in the film, musicians onboard the Titanic continued to play as the ship was sinking. Why do you think they did this? What effect do you think it had on the other people onboard the ship?

Research option: Find firsthand accounts of those onboard the Titanic that document this instance and describe its effect. Did their accounts reflect your presumptions?

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