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Session 1

Big events in the news can stay in our memories forever. Even if we weren't directly involved, we remember where we were and what we were doing at that time. In this session, you'll learn about one of the most well-known disasters of the 20th Century, improve your vocabulary, and test your knowledge.

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Activity 2

What do you know about the Titanic?

Now we are going to watch an animated video from the BBC programme Blue Peter telling the story of Eva Hart. She was a seven-year-old passenger on the Titanic.

But how much do you know about the passenger liner already? Before you watch the video, look at these statements - are they true or false? Do you know? Then watch the video and check your answers.

1. The Titanic was travelling to New York.

2. The ship struck an iceberg on the first night of the journey.

3. The lifeboats took women only at first.

4. Passengers panicked when they realised there weren't enough lifeboats for everyone.

5. The sea wasn't calm and the sky was cloudy on the night Titanic sank.

6. The ship broke into two pieces before it sank.


Watch the video and try the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

I was with my parents. My father was going to open a business in Winnipeg. People were saying to my mother and father how fortunate they were to get on the Titanic. I was excited because I was going on a wonderful big ship.

I had no fear or apprehension or anything. She was very beautiful: luxurious beyond words. It was the first time I'd been on board a ship. Captain Smith was on deck and he was very nice. He had a beard like my own grandfather and he admired a doll I had.

On the third night I was sound asleep. My mother woke me and said "I'm going to dress you." But before she could my father came back from deck and said "You'd best put this thick coat on." That was all he said. Standing on deck, I couldn't see around the funnel. My father came back and said "The ship has struck an iceberg." My father had no difficulty in putting me and my mother in lifeboats but he made no attempt to get in himself.

When we were in the water, we could hear people rushing about on the deck. That's when the panic must have started – when they found there weren't any lifeboats left. I was terrified. I didn't know what a shipwreck would mean or how long it would take but I was too terrified to do anything but shriek for my father I knew we'd left behind.

Before she sank, she was a very beautiful ship: stationary on the ocean with all her lights on. It was dreadfully cold but the sea was the calmest I'd ever seen. The starlit night was the brightest I'd ever seen.

I looked back and saw the whole of that tragedy. And I saw that ship break in half. The front part went down and left the stern sticking up in a horrifying fashion. It was enormous. It seemed to stick up in the air for a long time. And then it gradually went down, turning over.

And after that there was the sound of the whole disaster. And that was people drowning. That is something you could never forget. And then the dreadful silence that followed it. It seemed as if the whole world was standing still.

It was discovered that my lifeboat was overcrowded and the officer in charge of the boat decided he would get rid of his load by putting people in other boats. I got separated from my mother and didn't find her until the next day.

The next day, the icebergs were like white sails in the distance: white yachts with the sun on them. They were very beautiful. They were all around us. The crew of the ship that rescued us were very kind and good to us.

We were given clothes because I'd only got my nightclothes and a blanket around me. I had nightmares from the time it sank until I was 23. And though I wouldn't like to say I'm not frightened of the sea, I lost a lot of the horror. I've never been in anything touching the Titanic. A beauty. She was lovely.

To do

Check your answers in this activity.

Test your knowledge about the Titanic

6 Questions

Are the sentences true or false?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
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Test your knowledge about the Titanic

6 Questions

Are the sentences true or false?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


Now you've learned a lot of new vocabulary and a bit of history! From one big disaster story about the Titanic to a smaller one - find out how a flood will help you learn about lexical sets in 6 Minute Vocabulary!

Session Vocabulary

  • fortunate

    fear that something bad will happen

    extremely comfortable or elegant

    the destruction of a ship at sea by sinking or breaking up

    not moving, still

    an event causing great suffering, destruction and distress

    when there are too many people in a space than is comfortable