ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Engaging your Child in History and the Study of the War of 1812

Updated on April 19, 2013
painting by Anton Otto Fischer depicting the first victory at sea by USS Constitution over HMS Guerriere
painting by Anton Otto Fischer depicting the first victory at sea by USS Constitution over HMS Guerriere | Source

Ship's Diagrams and Mini Games

Looking for a new and interesting way to get your children excited about history? The USS Constitution Museum has created a fun and educational website called A Sailor’s Life for Me! The site will not only introduce your child to the war of 1812 and life aboard the USS Constitution but will also provide them with practice in math and budgeting, science, geography and language arts.

The “Explore Old Ironsides” button takes you to a diagram of the ship. Each of the different sections of the ship is coded with a purple dot. Hover over the dot and it tells you the name of that part of the ship. Click on the dot and it brings up a drawing depicting the sailors going about their lives on that part of the ship and a brief description of the details of that segment of the USS Constitution. Also, to help keep your child engaged, they've included a search for Guerriere, the ship’s dog, throughout the exploration of "Old Ironsides". The dog is hidden 11 times throughout the ship drawings. (He barks are runs away when clicked on.),

There are mini games that will introduce your child to some of the activities in a sailor’s life. These are divided into daily duties, gun crew and leisure time. And there is also a page of additional family activities to supplement the online games.

  • “What Floats Your Boat?” is a supplemental activity which will teach your child about the science of buoyancy.
  • “Ready? Aim. Fire!” teaches your child science and math.
  • “Constructing Constitution” will introduce your child to the history of the ships construction as well as allowing him to build his own model.
  • There is even a recipe for ship’s biscuits if you child would like to really experience life aboard ship.

Aside from those listed here there are several other activities on the family activities page.

Ditty-bag created in the game
Ditty-bag created in the game

Lesson Plans

Moreover the site makes it easy for parents and educators to incorporate the information they provide into complete lessons. Under educator resources is a “Search! Lesson Plans” tab. You can search by grade (kindergarten through twelfth), subject (geography, language arts, math, science, social studies and visual arts), type of resource (sailor’s stories, primary resource, artifact, game, lesson plan or classroom activity) or keywords. The lesson plans give you the target grade level, approximate time, overview, materials list and then it breaks down the activity into time increments and instruction for each section of the lesson. The site even provides an easy-to-read history of the War of 1812 and breakdown of how to teach the War of 1812. Whatever your skill level and your child’s grade level this site will walk you through providing them with a wealth of knowledge with minimal preparation and planning on your part.

However, the best part of the site is the game. It will take several days for your child to learn all that he can from the game. But if you register it will save your child’s progress. Registration is free and does not even require an email address (though if you are worried about forgetting your password you can provide one). The game begins with the player starting as a young boy just joining the navy. The player will be given a seven question “quiz”. The answers do not matter as this is just a way to share knowledge about a sailor’s life. (While some parts of the game are vocalized not all parts are so if you have a younger player you will want to sit with him and read the words.) Once a player is accepted into the navy he will receive his first two months’ pay and be instructed to purchase several items of clothing for his uniform. After the uniform is purchased the player is allowed on board where he can begin moving up the ranks by earning promotion points. Health, happiness and popularity will also fluctuate depending upon the player’s choices.

A Sailor's Life for Me Game

The game itself will teach your child a lot about what it meant to be a sailor at that time. It will also teach him to budget as he is required to make certain purchases throughout the game as well as maintaining his basic necessities. Moreover, the game will also be “interrupted” periodically for historical tidbits, like how the ship received its nickname and how many where killed and wounded in the ship’s first battle. Thought the graphics are similar to illustrations in children’s books and the basic concept of the game is fairly simple, the ability to immerse yourself into the life of a sailor should keep your child engaged.

This site provides a wealth of information in a manner that your child will find entertaining and engaging. The lesson plans are diverse and thorough. Take a little time and find a way to incorporate it into your own classroom and you will not be disappointed.

The earliest known depiction of USS Constitution - Attributed to Michel Felice Corné (1752–1845)
The earliest known depiction of USS Constitution - Attributed to Michel Felice Corné (1752–1845) | Source

Further Materials for Teaching the War of 1812


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)