Lesson Plan

Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station: Home to Unsung Heroes

Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station
Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station

National Park Service

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Grade Level:
Eighth Grade
Geography, History, Social Studies
Two- 45 Minute Lessons
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
National Standards for...
History: Standard-
Grade 5-12: Era 6- Standard 3

Social Studies: Standards: 3, 6, 9
USLSS, Lifesaving Service, North Carolina, Rescue, Cape Hatteras, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, technology, Lifesaving


Using Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station as an example, students will learn about the importance of the U.S. Life-Saving Service to shipping along North Carolina’s coast. They will also the close tie the U.S. Life-Saving Service had to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.


The learner will be able to:
  • Understand why the Federal Government took an active role in protecting mariners by creating the U.S. Life-Saving Service.
  • Explain the nature of duties in the U.S.L.S.S., including the daily routine and rescue activities.
  • Describe how the U.S.L.S.S. was perceived by some of the Atlantic Coast sailors whose lives were saved.
  • Examine modern rescue methods in their communities and compare them to U.S. Life-Saving Service operations.


The lesson could be used in U.S. history, social studies, and geography courses in units on 19th-century commerce or transportation, civics, or the chronological period after Reconstruction. Little Kinnakeet will help students understand the need for the U.S. Lifesaving Service (U.S.L.S.S.), a government agency that often has been forgotten but was responsible for saving more than 175,000 lives during its 44 years of operation. In 1915 the U.S.L.S.S. merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to become the U.S. Coast Guard.



  • Students will be able to discuss two reasons the federal government felt it was important to create the U.S. Life-Saving Service.
  • Students will be able to discuss three reasons a lifesaver's job was complex.
  • Students will be able to discuss three similarities and differences of rescue by members of the U.S.L.S.S. and lifesavers today.

Park Connections

The Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station is located within Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The seashore was home to over ten Life-Saving Service stations.

Last updated: April 14, 2015