|Imagining Life On A Clipper Ship
Ask students to imagine living in an area the size of two classrooms for 200-300
days (about the length of the school year) with the same group of 50 or so
people. Imagine not being able to leave to take a walk or to visit friends.
Imagine having several bosses living with you would could tell you what work
to do day and night, and who could punish you by putting you in chains or whipping
you if you did not comply. What sorts of people would be willing to take a
job like this?
Provide students with some pictures of clipper ships to study and ask the
What kinds of work would be necessary on board a clipper ship?
What specific craftsmen would you want to have on board for a long voyage?
What kinds of problems do you think would have occurred as a result of this
Why would a ship’s captain believe it was so important to keep good
discipline among his crew? Why were seamen put in chains or otherwise
punished for refusing
What supplies would have to be carried on board the ship in addition to
What could crew men do for entertainment?
What do you think the seamen felt about their work? What do you think
they liked about their job? What wouldn’t they have liked?
If enough resources can be provided for students, teachers may want
to have students work in groups to answer these questions. Library
books, and web sites can provide a class with pictures of clipper ships
to serve as a visual aid in considering the above questions. These
in the bibliography.