Lesson Plan

Life and Times of the Lighthouse Keeper

Cape Lookout Light Station circa 1913


Students will put themselves in the shoes of Lighthouse Keepers and Life-Saving Surfmen as they learn about the lives of these coastal heroes.


The learner will be able to:

• Identify some of the duties and daily ac tivities of lighthouse keepers.
• Understand the difference between wants and needs in relation to survival on the coast.
• Understand some of the rules for keeping a lighthouse working and the consequences for breaking those rules both for the keeper and for sailors.


Pre-Site Visit Activities: TEACHER COMPLETED

Knowledge Assessment (in post-site materials)

Introduction to Lighthouses
• What is a lighthouse?
• Why do we have lighthouses?

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie Activity
• Introduce the story by reading the "A Note from the Authors" section
• Read Keep the Lights Burning Abbie to the class
• Use the discussion points on the activity sheet to ask basic questions.
• Building the Lighthouse Activity
• Borrow Cape Lookout's lighthouse building blocks or use the cutout to create your own
• In groups of 3, have students build their own Cape Lookout

Lighthouse Coloring Page

On-Site Visit Activities: RANGER COMPLETED

Day 1

Differences in North Carolina's Lighthouses
The Dangers of Lookout Shoals and the Whole Carolina Coast
Rules, Consequences, and Keepers

Day 2 and Day 3

Lives of Lighthouse Keepers and Families
Lighthouse Keepers vs. Life-Saving Surfmen
Story Time: Keeper in the 1800s (Ranger will be dressed as a Keeper)
You Be the Keeper - Photo Opportunity

Post-Site Visit Activities: TEACHER COMPLETED

Knowledge Assessment

Life-Saving Service Coloring Sheet

Rescue on the Outer Banks Activity

Discussion Points

• The photo opportunity shows a man as a keeper, but women were keepers, too.
o Charlotte Mason was Cape Lookout's only female keeper, but …
o Wives, daughters, and sons all helped with the keeper's duties
• The U.S. Life-Saving Service symbol meant rescue to many shipwreck victims
o What might mean rescue to people today?
o What means rescue to you?
• Why were the crew members in the story "Rescue on the Outer Banks" not awarded metals during their lifetimes?
o Were these crew members heroes before they got their metals?
o What makes someone a hero?