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Boatloads of Boats


Today's Snack: Make a cucumber "boat" by cutting it lengthwise. Then, with a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds to make a hollow inside. Fill the hollow with softened cream cheese to which you've added just a pinch of dried herbs such as dill, oregano and garlic powder. If you don't eat your "boats" right away, stick them back together, chill, and then cut thick slices, or just pull it apart again and eat the two "boats"!






Print out the list at the bottom of this Treat


Encyclopedia or other reference books with boat information


Big, illustrated dictionary


If you have access to the Internet and a search engine, that would be helpful


Lined paper for writing, with a #2 pencil


Blank drawing paper, with colored pencils


Deep bowl or tub filled with water


Plastic 9-oz. drinking cup


Rocks or other small weights, enough to fill the cup



It is amazing how many types of boats there are. Boats are probably the original mode of transportation. Their "invention" came earlier than the wheel. So boats were developed long before humans had wagons, carts, and certainly bicycles, automobiles, airplanes and other forms of modern transportation.



Here's a boat from about 1450 B.C.


The first boats existed thousands of years ago, and were generally made of hollowed-out logs, tree bark or animal skins. Ancient boats also were made of reeds laid side by side and "glued" together with black tar.


In the beginning, boats moved by water power. Humans merely rode on rafts that floated down a river naturally. Next came human power - humans had to row the boat - but soon, the discovery of wind power as used with sails gave boats more speed and distance. Soon, trading could take place between two communities that were far apart, and so languages and ideas spread around the world largely because of boat transportation.


Only recently, in the last hundred years or so, have motors been added to boats, giving them even more speed and distance. Electricity can now be used as a power source. Lightweight but strong aluminum and fiberglass are common materials used in boat construction. And engines get more and more powerful and energy-efficient all the time.


Boats are generally smaller vessels that go on lakes and rivers, and larger boats that go on the oceans are called "ships." However, there are exceptions. A big riverboat or paddleboat, also called a "steamship," is classified as a ship even though it travels on rivers. So is an ocean-going freighter or a ferry boat. Generally, though, if it's too big to float in an inland lake or shallow coastal waters, it's a ship, not a boat.


A boat floats because its weight in the water "displaces" a certain amount of water. The heavier the boat, the more displacement there will be, and the deeper in the water it will lay.


Test how displacement works by floating a plastic cup in a large bowl or tub of water. Predict how many rocks or other small weights that you can put in the cup before it will sink. Then start adding rocks. Will the cup become completely filled with rocks and still float? Or does it sink? Was your prediction close, or far off? Why do you think your cup floated, or sank?


Submarines are the only boats that sink on purpose. They can either be called boats or ships, because the first submarines were carried around by a larger ship, and were not capable of coming and going on their own.


Boats may be used by the military, U.S. Coast Guard, or for other government purposes, or they may be for research or commercial purposes, such as deep-sea exploration or fishing.




The parts of a boat include:


n      The hull, or the body of the boat, which makes it float.

n      The keel is like the backbone of the boat; it is a lengthwise beam to which the frames.

n      The front (or forward end) of a boat is called the bow (rhymes with "cow").

n      The rear (or aft end - think of the word "after") of the boat is called the stern.

n      As you face forward in a boat, the right side is starboard.

n      The left side is port.







Now use your research materials - encyclopedias or other reference books - to find information and pictures of at least five of these types of boats. Write at least one fact about the boat next to the boat's name, below.


If you love boats, try to write a fact about each kind listed below, and draw their pictures. That would be quite a reference guide!


On a piece of unlined drawing paper, draw the boat and label it. Color it with colored pencils.


You can either make one page with five kinds of boats, or a different page for each boat. Don't try to color in the water now, or you'll be working all night!











Tall sailing ship















































Performance rowing craft

























Can you think of more types of boats? List here:






By Susan Darst Williams Vehicles & Machines 01 2009


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