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Educator Resources

Educator Resources

We at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum strive to support educators as much as they support us. Browse this page for:

For Teachers: On-Water Ecology Teacher Training Workshops

On-Water Ecology

LCMM is offering an On-Water Ecology Professional Development Program to teachers in Addison and Chittenden Counties that will provide field training to educators looking to expand their biological/ecological curriculum outside of the classroom. Teachers will be trained in science-based methods, experiments and activities that will focus on the unique watersheds of the Champlain Basin.

More about On-Water Ecology Teacher Training Workshops...

We've also assembled a small exhibit on Lake Champlain invasive and non-native species. Click to download the two-panel exhibit (pdf):

Exhibit: Lake Champlain Invasion

Classroom Lesson Plans & Curricula

Stem to Stern (website) These lesson plans celebrate the white oak and white pine species that have served as boatbuilding timber in the Northeast for hundreds of years. Our goals are to increase understanding of the relationship between forests and waterways, increase stewardship values, and model community stewardship action. We have designed this curriculum for communities where local heritage is closely tied to the timber industry and/or shipbuilding.


Otter Creek Mapping 2015

Otter Creek Mapping Project (website and digital map) LCMM and Vermont Boy Scout Troop 539 created a map of Otter Creek, including points of historical interest, archaeological sites, and notable wildlife.


War of 1812 (website) This collection of War of 1812 lesson plans is designed to enhance teachers’ classroom instruction utilizing three major themes: use of primary source documents, maritime skills and traditions, and interpreting events from various points of view.

Science & Technology of Underwater Discovery (website) Research on shipwrecks involves the application of concepts and skills from all scientific disciplines.  Physics, chemistry, geology, and biology are all employed in the practice of nautical archeology.  These lesson plans guide students in understanding how the core science principles learned in the classroom can be applied to solve practical problems working in an exciting and dynamic research environment.

On-Water Ecology (website) When students collect samples, take measurements, and make detailed observations about what they experience, we are encouraging the next generation of lake stewards. A stand-alone resource, or also specifically supports your On-Water Ecology Field Trip.

Maritime Machines (website) Simple machines are used individually or in combinations to make a boat work: levers aim a cannon, pulleys lift up cargo, and a windlass can haul heavy loads. A stand-alone resource, or also specifically supports your Maritime Machines Field Trip or Classroom Outreach.

Quadricentennial Curriculum (website with pdfs) In 1609, Samuel de Champlain came to the lake that now bears his name. This multi-disciplinary curriculum explores a wide variety of interconnected topics: geology, watershed, ecology, Lake Champlain's First Navigators, First Nations, Europeans in the New World, Samuel de Champlain, and Mapmaking.

Lesson Plans to Support a Field Trip or Outreach

Not sure what you're looking for? Try Searching our Resource Database.


Webcast of the Shipwrecked Sarah Ellen - November 5, 2009
Watch this FREE online broadcast
of the Shipwreck Sara Ellen.

Online Webcast

This shipwreck broadcast takes you deep under the cold dark waters of Lake Champlain to the wreck of the Sarah Ellen. Hear the tragic story of the schooner's sinking in the winter of 1860. Then meet our nautical archaeologists who tell of her underwater discovery in 1989. See footage captured by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), over 300 feet below the surface. Watch the Sara Ellen webcast.


Cover of the CD Life on Lake Champlain: Traditional Songs and Stories
Songs and Stories of Lake Champlain,
as told and sung by LCMM's
Champlain Troubadour Matthew Witten,
museum educators, and renowned artists
Pete Sutherland and Atlantic Crossing.

CD : Life on Lake Champlain: Traditional & Contemporary Songs and Stories

Life on Lake Champlain: Traditional & Contemporary Songs and Stories is an exciting, fun, richly musical and interesting album that brings together guest musicians and tradition-bearers with the Museum’s own educators.

This CD looks back 450 million years to the fossils of tropical coral reefs found in Button Bay and Isle LaMotte, then forward through history. Listen to the Abenaki traditional Ojihozo tale about how the Lake Between the Mountains was formed, hear songs about Otter Creek, the War of 1812, horse ferries, canal boats, and ice shanties. Eighteen pages of liner notes with song lyrics and historical background of each song and tale fully illustrate the rich history of Lake Champlain. LCMM educators and interpreters are joined by renowned artists Pete Sutherland and Atlantic Crossing to complete this compilation for Lake-lovers of all ages.


1. Horses Walking on Water - Matthew Witten
2. A Tropical Sea - Matthew Witten
3. Philomene Gets Respect - told by Jane Vincent
4. Macdonough's Fleet - Viveka Fox, performed by Atlantic Crossing
5. Jefferson and Madison Tour the North - Matthew Witten
6. Black Snake and the Fly - Pete Sutherland
7. Whaleboats on Lake Champlain?! - told by Dale Henry
8. Song of the Canal - Traditional
9. Kid's Life on a Sailing Canal Boat - Matthew Witten
10. Wreck of the Champlain II - told by Erick Tichonuk
11. Attend All Ye Drivers - Traditional, adapted by Matthew Witten
12. How to Set an Anchor - told by Matthew Witten
13. Wakefield Heroes - Matthew Witten
14. The Story of Ojihozo - told by Joe and Jesse Bruchac
15. The Indian Road - Pete Sutherland
16. Plankton Puzzle - Matthew Witten
17. Little Ice Shanty - Sheldon Posen

Classroom Kits & Videos

It's easy to place an order. Call 802-475-2022
Have your MasterCard or Visa ready and we will ship your order immediately.

The Philadelphia Kit - Resource

g, and rigging plans
Explore the building of the northern fleet
in your own classroom.

Learn the story of the gunboat Philadelphia and the defense of Lake Champlain in 1776 through this collection of materials and activities. The kit includes books, video, building plans, rigging plans, and hands-on opportunities for traditional skills such as knot tying, caulking, rigging and rope work.
Cost: $20 for 2-week loan (delivery not included).


Key to Liberty and A Tale of Three Gunboats Video - Resource
The story of Key to Liberty (15 minutes) is told from the perspective of Bayze Wells, First Officer of the American gunboat Providence. View the re-enactment of the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, featuring the gunboat Philadelphia. In Part II, A Tale of Three Gunboats (10 minutes), learn the story of the raising of the original gunboat Philadelphia in 1935, the building and launching of the replica Philadelphia II, and underwater footage of Spitfire, the last gunboat from the 1776 fleet, discovered in 1997.
Cost: $10 for 2-week loan or Purchase the VHS for $10 or DVD for $20 (shipping included).

Canalers Afloat: The Champlain Waterway’s Unique Maritime Community, 1819–1940 - Resource

Cover of Canalers Afloat Curriculum - Click to see the table of contents
Click on the image
to see the Table of Contents.

Cost: 640-page education curriculum $40, plus shipping.

The Phoenix Kit - Resource

Cost: $20 for 2-week loan (delivery not included).






Cover of Life on a Canal Boat

Life on a Canal Boat: The Journals of Theodore Bartley 1860–1889, edited by Russell Bellico

Transcribed by Barbara Bartley, from original journals of her great-grandfather-in-law Theodore Bartley, this volume is a fascinating window into life on the waterways of the Northeast, from Ottawa to New York City and beyond, through the eyes of this canal boat captain. Edited by Russell Bellico, and published by Purple Mountain Press. See the complete unedited version below. Purchase Online.

Cost: $22.50 softcover. Purchase Online.




Cover of Lake Champlain's Sailing Canal Boats

Lake Champlain Sailing Canal Boats: An Illustrated Journey from Burlington Bay to the Hudson River, by Arthur B. Cohn
Filled with great historical and contemporary images, this 250 page volume presents both a comprehensive history of Lake Champlain and the inside story of the construction of replica canal schooner Lois McClure. Purchase Online.

Cost: Soft cover, $24.95; Hard cover, $39.95 Purchase Online.


Research Materials

The Unabridged Journals of Theodore Bartley

Mary and Theodore Bartley.

Captain Theodore D. Bartley, owner of three Lake Champlain canal boats, kept a fascinating day-to-day journal of his life from 1861 to 1889 on the canals and waterways of the Northeast. His travels included voyages north to Ottawa, west to Buffalo, and south to Philadelphia. His journal entries range from dramatic tales of near sinkings during gales on Lake Champlain to descriptions of the lives of ordinary people during the late nineteenth century. Bartley witnessed history in the making: the Civil War, ironclads, famous sailing ships in New York harbor, Central Park, the theaters of New York City, the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the first electric lights and telephones, the Statue of Liberty, the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, the Blizzard of ‘88, and the grand Centennial Celebration of Washington’s Inauguration in New York City in 1889. The journals of Captain Bartley provide an intimate portrait of the life of a canal boat family crisscrossing America during a period of extraordinary change. These journals have now been edited and published by Purple Mountain Press, and available for sale, see above.


Download Bartley's unabridged journals in five parts. All files are PDFs.

Pages 1–300 (2.52MB)

Pages 301–600 (2.49MB)

Pages 601–900 (2.37MB)

Pages 901–1200 (2.38MB)

Pages 1201–1413 (1.67MB)