15 Resources for Studying the Titanic

The Titanic
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One of the best parts of being able to customize a homeschooled student's education is the ability to hone in on particular interests. For my 15-year-old, that meant a detailed study of the R.M.S. Titanic. (Did you know R.M.S. stands for Royal Mail Ship?)

Seeking out resources to study such a well-researched topic as Titanic can be challenging because there is so much information available, from detailed-to-the-point-of-tedious to inspired-but-only-barely-by-true-events accounts.

After a little digging, we found several resources that interested my teen. To those, I added a few that would be relevant to younger students to round out this list of student-friendly resources for studying one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.

Books About Titanic

SOS Titanic by Eve Bunting is an engaging historical fiction written for kids ages 12 and up. It follows the adventures of Barry O’Neill, a wealthy Irish teen bound for America to meet his parents. The suspenseful tale features conflict with a couple of vengeful boys and romance involving a third-class passenger. The book concludes with a brief afterward reminding readers of the real-life effects of the historic tragedy. 

A Girl Aboard the Titanic by Eva Hart – My daughter has particularly enjoyed this title, the memoir of a woman who sailed on Titanic as a 7-year-old girl. Eva was one of only 128 children aged 14 and under on the ship, and the disaster affected her so profoundly that it was nearly 40 years before she could speak openly about it.

50 Things You Should Know About Titanic by Sean Callery – We are anxiously awaiting publication of this title. We have two other titles in the series, 50 Things You Should Know About the First World War and 50 Things You Should Know About the Second World War. Both are colorfully illustrated and packed with information that brings history to life through diary entries, newspaper articles, and photographs.

I expect no less from the Titanic title which follows the fateful voyage using eyewitness accounts and evidence from the wreckage.

Tonight on the Titanic by Mary Pope Osborne - The Magic Tree House books are perfect for introducing young readers to a variety of historical topics. I appreciate the fact that these captivating chapter books have enough historical facts woven into the story to make them interesting to and educational for adults, as well, making them an excellent choice for a read-aloud if your younger students aren’t yet reading independently.

In this installment, Jack and Annie find themselves on the Titanic, trying to help two young children find their way to the lifeboats before the ship goes down. 

Titanic: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #17 by Mary Pope Osborne – As a homeschooling mom, I particularly enjoy the Magic Tree House non-fiction companion books. This title answers common questions about the Titanic such as how long it took to build, what it was like to be a passenger, and what happened to the survivors.

Dear America: Voyage On The Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White – The Dear America series is another favorite in our homeschool. Written for students in grades 3-8, this title follows 13-year-old Margaret Ann Brady, who is traveling to America to meet her older brother.

Readers will enjoy the historical notes at the end that include period photos and a timeline of events.

Hearts that Survive by Yvonne Lehman is an inspirational historical fiction for teens and adults. The majority of the tale follows Lydia Beaumont and Caroline Chadwick, who ultimately suffer tragic losses in the disaster. However, the book goes on to follow the descendants of some of the survivors, uncovering how the sinking of the impacted their lives.

Titanic in Photographs by Daniel Klistorner and Steve Hall is perfect for visual learners. It captures the story of Titanic through photographs compiled from among the finest of those held by private collectors. Featuring photos from the conception and building of Titanic, including many previously unpublished, the text follows the story through to its the tragic conclusion and touches on the role of the Carpathia in the aftermath and rescue that followed.

 

Explore Titanic: Breathtaking New Pictures, Recreated with Digital Technology by Peter Chrisp - Although this title was written for children in the 8- to 11-year-old range, readers of all ages will likely be captivated by the faithful reproductions and 3-D artwork that bring the story of Titanic to life. Featuring approximately 125 photos, the book will give readers a true-to-life view of sights such as the boiler room, the grand staircase, and the passenger cabins.

If you’re anything like me and have trouble visualizing Titanic through written descriptions, you’ll love these images, no matter your age.

The Titanic Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book) by Peter Copeland – Like other Dover coloring books, The Titanic is as much a fact-filled nonfiction book as it is a coloring book. Featuring 29 realistically-detailed coloring pages, the fact-filled captions follow the history of the ship from the dock in Southhampton, England to its fateful end.

Movies and Documentaries About the Titanic

Titanic A&E Documentary – This documentary, produced by the Arts and Entertainment Network, has a run time of 200 minutes and features newsreel footage, survivor accounts, and commentaries by historians. The two-disc set includes film footage, excerpts from passenger and crew writings (such as diaries and notes), and a short documentary on Titanic’s affect on popular culture, including its role in a Nazi propaganda film.

Titanic – Of course no teen’s study of Titanic would be complete without watching James Cameron’s iconic film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

It’s not a favorite with everyone – my oldest thought it was boring – but it makes the details of the ship and the events come to life.

It also provides some interesting talking points about the Hollywood version of events as compared to the real-life version. For example, my 15-year-old, who is currently studying Titanic, is quick to point out that only Hollywood referred to Margaret Brown as Unsinkable Molly Brown. In actuality, she was known as either Margaret or Maggie.

Titanic Field Trip Opportunities

If it’s at all feasible for you to incorporate a journey to one of the three Titanic museums into your study, I highly recommend doing so.

We’ve been to the Pigeon Forge location twice and thoroughly enjoyed the experience both times. Both the Pigeon Forge and Branson locations offer homeschool discounts. Click the homeschool link from the education drop-down button on their sites for discounted rate information along with education guides, biographies, trivia, and printable scavenger hunts that you can use during your tour of the museum.

There is such a wealth of information when it comes to studying the Titanic. These 15 student-friendly resources top our family's list.