Stick it to the Stowaways:
Rats in the Hold

For a bit of fun and an introduction to the “Hold” scene in Explore Old Ironsides, have your students test their hand-eye coordination in this fast-paced game to rid the stowaways (the rats) from Constitution's hold. Be careful, not to hit the cats - they help get rid of the rats.

Making Constitution Fit Together

Building Constitution was like fitting together one big puzzle. The lower decks were especially complicated with lots of different rooms that held lots of different supplies. Explore Constitution's orlop deck with a simple puzzle, and let students colorfully decorate it and make the pieces fit.

Ahead of her Class

At the very bottom of the Ship, Constitution‘s construction features can really be seen. Learn about the construction of Constitution with suggested interdisciplinary activities for a K-12 audience from All Hands on Deck. Activities include: What Floats, What Sails?, Inside Constitution's Hull, and Which is Bigger, Constitution or Your School?

Construct Constitution: Engineering

With your students, build a miniature paper version of Constitution. This activity includes a short lesson on the construction of the ship.

Calculating Area & Volume: How much can Constitution hold?

Use this Lesson Plan to calculate the size of Constitution’s hold. Then, compare Constitution's hold to the size of your classroom. This activity lesson includes tables, charts, and equations for calculating area and volume.

The Hold

In the deepest, darkest, dingiest place at the very bottom of Constitution is the hold: a gigantic wooden warehouse. Here, packed tight in barrels, is enough food, water and other provisions to supply the ship for six months. However, the crew won't eat and drink all of this. They share it with hundreds of rats. Rats don't just eat the tubs of bread, meat, cheese and beans. If the crew don't control them, they can even gnaw holes right through the ship's hull.

Tradesmen: Jobs available on Constitution

Have your students explore Meet Your Shipmates to find the tradesmen, like a carpenter, sailmaker, and cooper. These workers used their skills to keep Constitution in good repair. In this activity, meet Alexander Lane, Constitution’s cooper, learn more about coopers, and build a (paper) barrel with your students.