Compare and Contrast: The Hindenburg & The Titanic

Cohenworks

Scope's October nonfiction feature "The Flaming Sky" tells the gripping story of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. But 26 years earlier, a different disaster shook the world: the sinking of the Titanic. The two iconic tragedies are often compared. So we dug up our narrative nonfiction article about the Titanic from our archives just for you and your students. Here's how we recommend you use the two texts.

 

1. Have students read the "The Flaming Sky" and watch the  Behind the Scenes video.

 

 

2. Have students read “Into the Dark Water” about the sinking of the Titanic.

 

 

3. In small groups, have students explore the web resources for “Fire & Ice” a Smithsonian exhibit created to compare the Hindenburg and the Titanic disasters. Students should take notes as they go through the site.

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4. Bring the class back together and discuss how the two disasters are similar, how they are different, and what can be learned from both.

 

Here are some questions to get your discussion going:

  • What was happening in the world during the time of the Titanic and the Hindenburg disasters? How were the periods similar and different?
  • What were the accomodations like on board the Hindenburg? What were they like on the Titanic?
  • How were the Titanic and the Hindenburg viewed by the public when they were each built? What reputation did the two ships have?
  • Why did the Titanic sink? Why did the Hindenburg explode?
  • How did the Hindenburg disaster impact the public’s view of zeppelins? How did the Titanic disaster impact the public's view of ocean liners?
  • Compare the structures of the two articles. What do they have in common? How are they different?

 

 

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