Maritime History Feature

To celebrate our nation's maritime heritage, Teaching with Historic Places features the following complete lesson plans that consider important aspects of maritime history. Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

The Battle of Midway: Turning the Tide in the Pacific (90)
Discover the important role these tiny Pacific islands played in World War II. (National Historic Landmark)

Decatur House: A Home of the Rich and Powerful (19)
Inspect Commodore Stephen Decatur's home near the White House, a gathering place for the politically ambitious, and learn why the naval hero felt compelled to fight a fateful duel. (National Historic Landmark)

Fort Hancock: A Bastion of America's Eastern Seaboard (37)
Examine how changing military technology and U.S. budget debates influenced the development of Fort Hancock and the U.S. coastal defense system. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Fort Morgan and the Battle of Mobile Bay (73)
Follow Admiral Farragut's attack on Fort Morgan and Mobile Bay, and consider the human reaction to technologies such as ironclads and underwater mines. (National Historic Landmark)

Forts of Old San Juan: Guardians of the Caribbean (60)
Discover how Spanish fortifications on the island of Puerto Rico helped protect Spain's expanding interests in the New World. (National Park/National Historic Landmark/UNESCO World Heritage Site)

La versión en español Los Castillos del Viejo San Juan: Guardianes del Caribe

Liberty Ships and Victory Ships, America's Lifeline in War (116)
Learn how the United States mobilized a massive construction effort to build a large merchant fleet to serve in war and peace. (The SS Red Oak Victory is part of a National Park. The SS Jeremiah O'Brien and the SSLane Victory are National Historic Landmarks.)

Life on an Island: Early Settlers Off the Rock-Bound Coast of Maine (16)
Discover how early settlers survived on Maine's coastal islands despite harsh living conditions. (National Park)

Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station: Home to Unsung Heroes (57)
Learn about the United States Lifesaving Service daring rescues to save imperiled lives from the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." (National Park)

Navesink Lighthouse and Robbins Reef Lighthouse: Lighting the Way through New York Bay (131)
Learn about two historic lighthouses that illustrate how technological advancements contributed to maritime safety and about the isolated, often routine, but sometimes heroic lives led by their keepers. (Navesink Light Station is a National Historic Landmark.)

The Ohio and Erie Canal: Catalyst of Economic Development for Ohio (115)
Assess the importance of America's early canal system and its economic and social effects.(National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Penniman House: A Whaling Story (112)
Meet Captain Edward Penniman, and learn about 19th-century whaling in southeastern Massachusetts and how the whaling industry impacted Penniman's family and life. (National Park)

Remembering Pearl Harbor: The USS Arizona Memorial (18)
Trace the course of the Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and consider the significance of the sunken USS Arizona as a war memorial. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

“The Rockets' Red Glare”: Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry (137)
Learn how the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore led to the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and how Key’s song became a powerful symbol for Americans. (National Park) Learn how a classroom teacher uses this lesson.

The Spanish Treasure Fleets of 1715 and 1733: Disasters Strike at Sea (129)
Learn how Spain established a New World empire based on collecting precious metals and goods from the Americas.

La versión en español Las flotas españolas de 1715 y 1733: Desastres en el mar

Last updated: March 31, 2016

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