In this lesson, students 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.
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."
Answers will vary. Encourage students to explain whey they chose the data they wrote down.
2. Write down the names of passengers or crewmembers described in the article, noting their social class and experiences while on board.
American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim, British journalist William Thomas Stead, and Macy's department store co-owner Isidor Straus and his wife, Ida
White Star chairman J. Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews of Harland and Wolff were also on board. Andrews designed the ship.
John Jacob Astor and Madeline Astor, wealthy Americans, were on board.
Molly Brown, American human-rights activist, philanthropist, and actress who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
John Pierpont Morgan, founder of International Mercantile Marine was a passenger.
William Thomas Stead, British journalist, editor, and publisher who founded the noted periodical Review of Reviews (1890).
Members of the Straus family, a Jewish American immigrant family whose members prospered as owners of Macy's department store in New York City and distinguished themselves in public service and philanthropy.
Capt. Edward J. Smith was the captain on board. There was First Officer William Murdoch and Second Officer Charles Lightoller
Lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee
3. Write down some questions that you have about people on the Titanic.
Answers will vary. Encourage students to explain their answers.
Encyclopedia Titanica Database
You will need to develop your own search strategies to find the answers to some of these questions. If you can't answer a question, write down the strategies that you used to try to find the answer.
1. Record the total number of passengers in each class.
First Class: 324; Second Class: 285; Third Class: 708
2. How many passengers were from the United States? How many crewmembers were from the United States?
There were 271 people total from the United States. Of those, 268 were passengers and 3 were crewmembers.
3. Record the number of passengers lost in each class. Does there seem to be a relationship between number lost and social class?
First Class: 126; Second Class: 165; Third Class: 538
4. How many of the people lost were crewmembers?
685 crewmembers were lost.
5. How many of the people lost were passengers?
832 passengers were lost.
6. How did you come up with the answers to questions 5 and 6?
Answers will vary. Encourage students to explain how they arrived at their answers.
7. Using the numbers that you came up with for questions 4 and 5, find the ratio of lost crew to lost passengers.
It would be approximately 6:8.
8. 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!
Answers will vary.
Note: Read all of the questions before starting, and create a way to systematically record the information (e.g., table or spreadsheet).
Answers to these questions will vary depending on the lifeboat.