The Tsunami and the Sword

by  The Mariners' Museum

Program image

During the fateful autumn of 1867, a yellow-fever epidemic and four major natural disasters, including a tsunami, rocked the islands St. Croix and St. Thomas in the Caribbean Sea. A former Civil War warship, USS Monongahela, was stationed for a political mission just off the shores of St. Croix during this time. Aboard the ship was a Civil War naval cutlass that remarkably survived the disasters, and eventually was donated to The Mariners’ Museum and Park Collection in the 1930s. In this program, students will discover the voice and story behind the sword through primary and secondary sources along with participating in an artifact investigation activity. At the end of the session, they will connect the story of the sword to science, history, art, and maybe even their own experiences. After the program, students are encouraged to find an artifact in their home, conduct a short investigation of the artifact, and create art that connects the artifact to the story they unearthed.

Program Rating

This program has not yet been evaluated.
Book it!

About This Program


Point to Point: $125.00
By Request: $125.00


30 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6

Minimum participants:

no minimum

Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Fine Arts, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Please cancel your program as soon as you know that you must. A week's notice is preferable.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


The Mariners' Museum

Newport News, VA
United States

The Mariners’ Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia, but our educational reach extends far beyond our physical doors. Just as Man has used the sea to journey around the world for thousands of years, The Mariners’ now uses Interactive Videoconferencing to offer programming to schools across the country and around the globe.
The Mariners' Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive maritime history museums in the world, houses a treasure trove of more than 35,000 items inspired by human experiences with the sea.

Harriet Smith

Program Details


1. Students learn what an artifact is and why they are important.
2. Students examine a sword and see what clues they can find about its past.
3. Students hear other first hand accounts of surviving a tsunami.
4. Students learn how art can be used to remember the past.
5. Students create their own short story, poem, song, or drawing to help tell the story of the USS Monongahela.


- Students will go through the steps of an investigation.
- Students will learn about natural disasters.
- Students will learn about primary sources and the importance of artifacts.
- Students will practice using art to tell a story.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Next Generation Science Standard:
4-ESS2-2, 5-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-2

State Standards

Virginia Science (2018):
Elementary: 4.4 (a,b), 4.7, 5.2(a), 5.3, 5.8 (a,b,d)
Middle: 6.3(a), 6.6(b,d), 6.9(e)

Virginia History (2015):
VS.7(a), USI.1(a), USI.9(e)

Virginia English (2017):
4.1, 4.9, 5.1, 5.9, 6.1, 6.9