Narrative Nonfiction: Stories of Titanic’s Second Class

51qzcw-ynul-_sx359_bo1204203200_Bailey, R. A. (2016). Stories of Titanic’s second class. Mankato, MN. The Child’s World.

Plot: Stories of Titanic’s Second Class show readers the real account of four second class passengers who set sail on the infamous Titanic. From the first day they boarded, to the day they escaped the sinking ship and were rescued by the Carpathia, this book gives a detailed account of their time on the large boat. Also included in this informational text are source notes, a glossary, relevant photographs and a resources section.

Recommendation: Since I wrote Stories of Titanic’s Second Class, I may be somewhat biased. Regardless, I believe the book is an excellent informational text. It gives true accounts of second class Titanic survivors. Although nonfiction, it is written like a story and draws the reader into the lives of four individuals who survived the catastrophe. This book is appropriate for third grade with teacher guidance. Fourth graders could read the book independently.

Topics: History- Titanic; Science & Engineering- boats


Stories of Titanic’s Second Class is part of a book series called Titanic Stories. Other books in the series include: Stories of Titanic’s Children, Stories of Titanic’s Crew, Stories of Titanic’s First Class, Stories of Titanic’s Third Class and The Story of Titanic’s Chairman Ismay.

Quantitative Reading Level: 

Lexile Measure: 590; Grade Level Equivalent: 3-4; Pages: 29

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/Format: The book is divided into four chapters. It also includes a glossary, source notes, a resources section and an index. Historical photographs with captions are sprinkled throughout.

Language Demands: The language is fairly simple. Words students may not know are bolded. These words are defined in the glossary at the back of the book.

Knowledge Demands: A basic knowledge of the Titanic would be helpful, but is not necessary.

Meaning/Purpose: The purpose of this book is to show the plight of second class passengers on the Titanic. Of note is that only 14 of 168 second class men survived the sinking of the Titanic.

Content/Subject Area & Standards:

Third Grade ELA (Missouri Learning Standards)

1. Develop and apply skills to the reading process. B.Develop an understanding of vocabulary by: a. decoding and identifying the meaning of common prefixes and suffixes and knowing how they change the meaning of root words b. using sentence level context to determine the relevant meaning of unfamiliar words or distinguish among multiple meaning words c. using homographs, and homophones d. distinguishing the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context e. determining the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known base word. f. using a dictionary or a glossary to determine the meanings, syllabications, and pronunciation of unknown words g. discussing analogies h. determining the meaning of the author’s use of similes and metaphors to produce imagery i. using conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases.

3. Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate nonfiction (e.g. narrative, information/explanatory, opinion, persuasive, argumentative) from a variety of cultures and times. C. Read, infer and draw conclusions to: a. describe relationships among events, ideas, concepts, and cause and effect in texts b. explain the relationship between problems and solutions c. use information gained from illustrations and words to demonstrate understanding of the text d. explain the author’s purpose e. compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in texts on the same topic

Third Grade Social Studies(Missouri Learning Standards)

5. Knowledge of major elements of geographical study and analysis and their relationship to changes in society and the environment. E. Describe how changes in communication and transportation technologies affect people’s lives.

7. Knowledge of the use of tools of social science inquiry. B.With guidance and support, use visual tools and informational texts to interpret, draw conclusions, make predictions, and communicate information and ideas.

Curriculum Suggestions: 

1. After reading Stories of Titanic’s Second Class, read Stories of Titanic’s Third Class and Stories of Titanic’s First Class. Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast passengers’ experiences on the Titanic.

2. Talk to the students about how the iceberg ripped Titanic’s hull. Because of this, water poured in and filled up the ship. Illustrate this by, giving students squares of aluminum foil. Tell them to create a boat out of the foil. Have them place their boats in a tub of water. Next, have them predict how many pennies they will have to add to their boats before they sink. Tell the students to add one penny to their boats at a time. Record results.

Links to Supporting Content:

Encyclopedia Titanica

Titanic Lesson Plan

Titanic Videos



This entry was posted in Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s