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Throw Weight

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: War of 1812

Grade Level: 4-8

Common Core Standards
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
• Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
Measurement and Data
• Solve problems involving measurement
• Represent and interpret data.

Content Areas: Math, Social Studies

Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes

Learning Goals: Students will practice addition, multiplication and division calculation skills. Students will draw conclusions based on data in a table. Students will use a variety of reference sources to answer questions.


  1. This activity is best embedded in a larger unit that includes an introduction to 18th Century warships.
  2. Distribute the Throw Weight worksheet.
  3. Read the article about throw weight together as a group. Clarify any questions about terms or the concept of throw weight in 18th Century naval warfare.
  4. Have students work individually or in small groups to calculate and record the total throw weight of each vessel listed in the table.
  5. In pairs or small groups have students discuss and answer the questions on the worksheet.
  6. After students have had a chance to answer the questions, as a class share the pairings that students thought would be fair. Discuss why or why not if there is any disagreement.
  7. Give students time, or assign certain students the task of finding an account of the actual battles between the ships listed.

Assessments: Collect worksheets to determine accuracy and effort put into the activity.

Materials/Resources: Throw Weight Worksheet

Special Considerations: Teachers can decide whether or not to use calculators for this activity.

Extensions: Students may want to determine the throw weight of other historic vessels. Students may want to learn more about when and why throw weight became less important in naval warfare.