Exploring the Titanic

Exploring the Titanic


In this lesson, you will analyze and interpret data related to the crew and passengers of the Titanic to better understand the people who were lost or saved as a result of the disaster, and whether or not social status affected the outcome. Use these resources to help you explore what happened on the Titanic.


Part 1: Overview

First, you and your partner should explore Titanic. Use the information from this resource to find the following information on the Exploring the Titanic student sheet:

  1. Write down some of the numerical data that you encounter. For example, the introduction states that the "British luxury passenger liner that sank on April 14–15, 1912, during its maiden voyage, en route to New York City from Southampton, England, killing about 1,500 passengers and ship personnel."
  2. Write down the names of passengers or crewmembers described in the article, noting their social class and experiences while on board.
  3. Write down some questions that you have about people on the Titanic.


Part 2: The Passengers and Crew of the Titanic

Now go to the Encyclopedia Titanica. Then you should choose either “Crew” or “Passengers” from the tabs at the top of the page. As you go through this database, you should find the answers to these questions and record your answers on your student sheet:

  1. Record the total number of passengers in each class.
  2. How many passengers were from the United States? How many crewmembers were from the United States?
  3. Record the number of passengers lost in each class. Does there seem to be a relationship between number lost and social class?
  4. How many of the people lost were crewmembers?
  5. How many of the people lost were passengers?
  6. How did you come up with the answers to questions 5 and 6?
  7. Using the numbers that you came up with for questions 5 and 6, find the ratio of lost crew to lost passengers.
  8. How many women were part of the crew? What were some of their duties?
  9. Write a question that you would like to answer by using the databases (e.g., What fraction of the male crewmembers were between the ages of 16 and 18?). Provide the answer and describe the search strategy you used to find it. This should be challenging – try to stump your classmates!


Part 3: Titanic Lifeboats

Go to The Titanic Lifeboats to do some research on the lifeboats. To find your lifeboat, just scroll down the page until you see it in the list. You can click on your lifeboat to go to the information about it. Note: Read all of the questions before starting, and create a way to systematically record the information (e.g., table or spreadsheet).

  1. What is your lifeboat number or letter?
  2. How many people were on your lifeboat?
  3. What were their names and ages?
  4. What were their occupations?
  5. What is the average age of the people on your lifeboat?
  6. What is the ratio of men to women on your lifeboat?
  7. Were there any family members on your lifeboat? Who were they?
  8. What is the ratio of crew to passengers on your lifeboat?
  9. In what class did the majority of the passengers on your lifeboat travel?
  10. What else did you discover about the people on your lifeboat?

Knowledge Check

In addition to the resources you've already examined, you should study the resources on the Titanic: Demographics of the Passengers site to help you answer the question: "How did social class influence the survival rate of the people aboard the Titanic?" Write a three- or four-page essay explaining your answer to this question.

In your essay, be sure to address these requirements:

  • Cite evidence gathered from the sites above as well as in earlier portions of the lesson to support your position; and
  • Describe how the statistical information you examined helped to add meaning to the human tragedy of the Titanic. Did analyzing numbers tell you something that you didn't know before? Or did it help you see information in a different light?

This esheet is a part of the First Class First? Using Data to Explore the Tragedy of the Titanic lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?

Esheet Details