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Chronological Reasoning and Causation

Shipbuilding on Long Island

  1. Load Ship Building Allie R Chester 1893  in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Ship Building Jesse Carll Business Card in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load Ship Building Messenger and Princess Carll Yard 1894 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Title: Shipbuilding on Long Island 

Historical Context: Shipbuilding became a strong industry on and around Long Island. Ocean access led to natural harbors and shipping methods for materials come in and out of the area. However, this industry did not always thrive and eventually came to a slow end.

 Overview: By viewing documents, students will be able to view the impact shipbuilding had on Long Island. In addition to shipbuilding on Long Island, students can view the broader impact shipbuilding had on the American economy. By viewing the geographical area where shipbuilding took place, students will be able to determine why Long Island was a suitable location for this practice. Additionally, students will see why shipbuilding declined and who was impacted by it. 

 Goal: Show students the significance of Shipbuilding in Long Island’s history. 


- Students will determine the need for shipbuilding and its transformation to Long Island’s economy

-Students will be able to see why there was a decline in shipbuilding on Long Island has time progressed. 

 Investigative (Compelling) Question: Is there a way for an industry to last forever? How might they keep up with changing times?

Time Required

  • Two 40-minute class periods 


Class period 1: Intro to shipbuilding 

-View the introduction of Shipbuilding in Northport Harbor (10 minutes)

-View the Allie R Chester photograph and discuss all aspects of the photo (10 minutes)

-Analyze how there was a decline in shipbuilding during the Civil War in America and determine the long-lasting impact that had on the industry (10 minutes) 

-Introduce students to developing a plan that would revive shipbuilding on Long Island and begin developing the plan (10 minutes)


Class period 2: Strategic plan

  • Have students develop a plan that would revive the shipbuilding industry (20 minutes)

  • Students will then share their plans with the class and come to a consensus as to which plan works best. (15 minutes)

  • End with a summary question and discussion that analyzes the impact shipbuilding had on Long Island’s history. (5 minutes)


Recommended Grade Range



 Subject: Social Studies 


Standards: 11.5 INDUSTRIALIZATION AND URBANIZATION (1870 – 1920): The United States was transformed from an agrarian to an increasingly industrial and urbanized society. Although this transformation created new economic opportunities, it also created societal problems that were addressed by a variety of reform efforts. (Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5; Themes: TCC, GEO, SOC, CIV, TECH)

 Credits: Zachary Babolcsay 


 Materials Used: Analysis tools, handouts, rubrics, PowerPoint slides, etc. needed to conduct the lesson

Overview of Shipbuilding in one Long Island town – Northport, NY 

Jessie Carll’s Shipyard 

Shipbuilding on US economy today 

History of Shipbuilding (with focus on New England) 


Description of Procedure: Provides a numbered list of procedures, providing instruction in clear and concise language about how to implement the lesson and use primary sources to answer the investigative question and meet the goal of the lesson.

You may want to use the Stripling inquiry cycle as a guide.

The Inquiry Cycle:

  • Connect: Students connect new insights to self or previous knowledge; gain background and context; observe, experience.

  • Wonder: Students develop questions and create hypotheses or predictions

  • Investigate: Find and evaluate information to answer questions; test hypotheses; think about information to illuminate new questions and hypotheses

  • Construct: Construct new understandings connected to previous knowledge; draw conclusions about questions and hypotheses

  • Express: Apply understandings to a new context and new situations; express new ideas to share learning with others

  • Reflect: Reflect on own learning; ask new questions

Extensions (if applicable)

Additive Images to possibly integrate from Northport Shipbuilding:

Allie Chester Shipbuilding: 

Northport Stock: 

Shipbuilding Photos Cow Harbor: 



Evaluation: Students will be tasked with creating a strategic plan aimed at reviving the shipbuilding industry on Long Island/New York. Students will have to answer the following prompts:

-How can shipbuilding be revived with the use of new technologies?

-Examine the impact shipbuilding could have on the local economy.

-Is there any other industries that can also come from shipbuilding?

-In what ways would you rally people to support the revival?

-How can shipbuilding be sustainable so it does not disappear again?