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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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In the News: Wonderful Geography Lesson-Model Boat Travels 3000 miles!

What a wonderful geography project that really engaged students!

Sixth grade students at the Morristown-Beard School,Morristown, in New Jersey, launched a 5 ft. long model boat into the Atlantic Ocean. On board the craft was a GPS tracking device.The students also placed their names on the bottom of the boat and a photograph as well as a message in several languages. Part of a geography project, the students watched the location of their boat,called the Crimson Tide, as it made its way into the Gulf Stream. Fourteen months later, the ship has gone nearly 3000 miles and arrived at the English Channel island of Guernsey! It was here that it was found by a fisherman. Covered in barnacles, the boat had lost its mast and a waterproof capsule. The container with items including a school tee-shirt, thumb drive with messages and more photographs, and even some money, were lost during the Crimson Tide's voyage. It is hoped that with a new sail and battery for the GPS, the ship can be relaunched with it maybe, returning back to this side of the Atlantic!

Photograph from

Extension Activities:
* After reading this news short, pretend you are the Crimson Tide. Tell about a day during your travels. What did you see? Hear? Feel? as you bobbed in the Atlantic Ocean?

*Read about the island of Guernsey. Draw a travel poster for the island including 5 facts learned about Guernsey.

* Learn about the English Channel: Use the map and do some measurements learning about distances between several cities.

* Draw a picture of a boat. What would be 7 items you'd place in a boat that might go across the ocean to a distance shore? What would you want the person who found the boat to learn about you and your culture?

Gail Hennessey