Keep the Learning Going


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.



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?



Scope, September 2016

Here at Scope, a big part of our mission is to open doors of curiosity for your students, to inspire them to pursue what fascinates them, and to help them become learners not only in the classroom, but outside of it as well.

And what could be more fascinating than our Mars extravaganza in the September issue? After your students read the fiction piece "Follow the Water" and the informational text "What Would It Take to Live Here?" share these awesome resources to keep the learning going.




To Read: An article about creating a bill of rights for a Mars colony

To Do: Have students work in groups to create their own bill of rights for colonists on Mars.




To Read: A debate about moving to Mars—from the Scope archive!

To Do: Hold a class debate about whether or not it would be a good idea to move to Mars. Divide the class into two groups: Those who would like to move to Mars and those who would not. Have students try to persuade those in the other group to change their minds.




To Watch and Read: A video of the first moon landing and a newspaper article about the historic event

To Do: Have students imagine what it would be like here on Earth if humans were landing on Mars for the first time. Have students create their own news coverage of the event in the form of a newspaper article, broadcast, live tweets, etc. 





To View: NASA's Mars Explorers Posters

To Do: Study these futuristic recruitment posters. Discuss why the type of professional featured in each poster would be important on a Mars colony. As a class, brainstorm other professionals that might be needed. Break students into groups and have each group create a recruitment poster of its own. Then each group can show its poster to the class and give a short presentation about why it would be important to have colonists on Mars with that particular skill.



Clarion Books

To Read: A book about Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica

To Do: Have students write essays comparing the challenges that Ernest Shackleton faced and how he overcame them with the challenges that a Mars colonist would face.


Have another awesome extension idea? Share it in the comments below!