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During our stay at the Outer Banks, we coasted (like the pun?) down Highway 12, through Hurricane Joaquin floodwaters, to Hatteras Island. Our mission? Visit one of the most iconic symbols of the eastern seaboard....the Hatteras Lighthouse.The poor park rangers had to evacuate their home when it flooded! You can see the hose emptying it out. And since there were no park rangers on site, the museum and the lighthouse itself were both closed. It was a bit of a bummer to drive so far and be denied access, but we still enjoyed visiting this iconic landmark!
As you can see, we still enjoyed ourselves immensely...having a Silly Day!!!
We found some fabulous historic references, including the very first Hatteras Fresnel Lens from the 1854 lighthouse. There was also a very nice rendition of the North Carolina lighthouses.
Bodie Island was more of the same....while it wasn't flooded, the lighthouse was closed due to high winds. We were able to talk with a park ranger for a bit, getting some history of the area, and were thankful that we'd taken the time to pop in last year!
Lighthouses Unit Study Writing Prompts
- You are commissioned to design a new lighthouse. Describe the design, including the daymark, height, signal, location, and other details.
- Before electricity, lighthouse keepers lived on the premises and kept the lights burning. Write about your life as a lighthouse keeper in the 18th century.
- Why was the Fresnel lens such an innovation? What did it do better than previous lenses?
- Choose a lighthouse, and write a story from ITS point of view. The story can be set in present day or a historical era. What did it see and hear?
- Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
- Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue
- The Lighthouse Mystery (Boxcar Children)
- Lighthouses for Kids
- The Sea Chest
- The Little Red Lighthouse & Great Gray Bridge
- Lighthouse Library Mystery (for mom)
Science & Geography
- Anatomy of a Lighthouse
- How Lighthouses Work
- Outer Banks Lighthouses
- Live Web Cam - York, ME Lighthouse
- Bodie Island Lighthouse & Craft
Build a Lighthouse
Supplies: (per child)
- paper plate,
- 16 oz or larger Styrofoam cup,
- 1 inch toilet paper roll piece,
- construction paper,
- scissors, toothpick,
- wooden bead or pony bead,
- glue (foam or tacky glue works best),
- scotch tape,
- regular markers, & permanent markers
- You can start by coloring your island with waves breaking over the shore and rocks and trees around the island. If a number of children are making the lighthouse and you want to identify the builders, put their name on the other side and set it aside.
- Using the bottom of your “tower”, draw a circle on a piece of construction paper for the Dome [Note: you should use the same color paper you plan to color your lantern room]; cut the circle out and set it aside.
- Now you decorate the tower. Using the permanent marker (fine point works best) draw the door and windows. At this time you can color your tower with stripes or other patterns to display your daymark (see examples below).
- Glue your tower to the island and set it aside. [Note: If you are making a large number of lighthouses for a group of children, it is recommended that you pour some white glue into a small plastic container that the bottom of the tower fits; dip tower lightly into the glue and place it on the island.]
- Next prepare the lantern room. Cut 2” piece of paper roll and cut a 5 ½” x 1” piece of yellow construction paper to make your storm window. Using the permanent marker, make a border along the long edges and, if you choose, down the center of the strip. Tape one end of the strip at the top of the lantern room, wrap it around, and tape the other end. Draw in the astragals (metal frame running vertically or diagonally that divides the lantern room glass into sections) with the permanent marker.
- Color your lantern room below the window strip. Using the circle cut earlier for the dome cut a slit to the center and slide one edge over the other to form a peaked cap; tape it together.
- Glue the lantern room to the top of the tower and the dome on top. [Note: If making a large number, use the white glue in a plastic container, and dip both ends of the lantern room, place on tower, and attach dome.]
- Now take the vent ball and carefully put some glue into the hole [Fast drying glue works best], about ½ full, set it on the peak of the dome, and stick the lightning rod (a 1” piece of toothpick, sharp end up) into the glue in the ball.