Last year, I read Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson with my 7th Grade Book Club. I chose the book because it is a work of narrative non-fiction. It was published in 2012 originally and a new edition came out in 2014. The book is 304 pages/ 1040 Lexile Level and includes an abundance of primary sources from the era of the ship’s sinking. This is particularly useful when teaching Common Core Informational Texts standards. The book includes a seamless balance of narratives from passengers and historical information about the ship.
Once you get students past the historical context in the first few chapters, it’s an extremely engaging book for readers. To help students better understand much of the domain specific vocabulary in the first few chapters, I pulled a few books that include diagrams and photos from the production of the ship. This greatly contributed to student engagement (and helped my visual learners).
This reading guide was prepared from the 2012 hardcover edition of the book. If you are using the 2014 paperback, you can still utilize this reading guide, simply noting chapter breaks.
This guide includes challenging vocabulary named and defined, a summary of each page of the book, important inferences students need to glean from the text, and content students may confuse or misunderstand. I use this as I’m teaching the book to plan questions and create reading assignments for students.
Suggested Supplemental Texts to Increase Student Understanding/ Engagement:
- 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Your Questions about the Titanic
- Inside the Titanic
- Titanic: An Illustrated History
Additional Information about the Book: