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Parts of a Ship

Grade Level: K-6

Standards: K-2-ETS1: Engineering Design p.23 NGSS vol.1
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
ELA/Literacy p.136
RI.2.1, W.2.8

Content Area: math, science

Recommended Length/Duration: 30 minutes

Goals: Students learn the various parts of different types of sailing vessels and their functions on each vessel. Think about the differences in design and the differences in function.

(K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.; K-2-EST1-3: Analyze data from test of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.)


  1. On the board, draw the diagram one of the ships in the lesson
  2. Write on the pieces of paper the various parts of the vessel large enough to see around the room. Put tape on the back of each one
  3. Give one label to each student
  4. Have them come up one at a time and place the label where they think it goes
  5. As they put them and labels end up in the wrong locations, ask which they think is right and which they think is wrong. Discuss which could be changed
  6. Rearrange the various labels as necessary to their appropriate locations. While doing so, discuss what each part of the ship is and its function
  7. Discuss the different shapes of the two types of boats. Why are the shaped differently? How are the different boats designed to do different jobs? 

Written Examination: Have students fill out from memory the different plans of the vessels in this lesson and explain their function. Why are the shapes and parts of each boat type different?