Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Logo; Click to return to our Home Page.

Anatomy of a Warship

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: War of 1812

Grade Level: 6-8

Common Core Standards
R.S6-8.4. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific or technical context relevant to grade level texts and topics.

Content Areas: Reading, Social Studies

Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes

Learning Goals: Students will become familiar with warships in service during the War of 1812. Students will become familiar with vocabulary terms used to describe the parts of sailing warships.


  1. Introduce the activity with a short discussion about the important role naval ships played in the War of 1812.
  2. Distribute copies of the diagram and the accompanying worksheet. Explain that students will be using he diagram to answer questions about sailing warships.
  3. Read together the directions on the worksheet. Clarify and questions or confusion about the directions.
  4. Have students work independently or in groups to answer the questions.
  5. When students have had time to complete the worksheet, review their responses. Discuss any errors or disagreements.

Assessments: Evaluate worksheets for accuracy and effort.

Materials/Resources: Multiple copies of Anatomy of a Warship worksheets

Special Considerations: Students who may have difficulty with reading can be paired in groups with stronger readers.

Extensions: Interested students may want to learn more about a particular type of ship.

The USS Constitution is probably the most famous American warship. Students may want to go to the USS Constitution Museum’s “All Hands on Deck” website to learn more: