Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915

17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities

The U.S. Life-Saving Service (forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard) installed eight-member rescue teams on remote coastlines of the USA. In the midst of violent storms, these men rowed out to shipwrecks to rescue those on board.

  • How did life-savers live and work in remote locations?
  • Why did ships run aground or sink?
  • How did the men perform rescues?

Investigate early search and rescue and become immersed the time period 1878-1915. Activities include games, drama, cooking, music, stories, science, research, and art. Also included is up-to-date information on hiking and boating survival skills.

Grades 4-12, 118 pages. Critical thinking and problem solving skills, group work, research areas. One of my top-selling resources!

Who uses Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service?

  • History teachers include in post-Civil War study
  • Homeschoolers use as a hands-on unit
  • Art teachers choose from 26 projects
  • Parents & scout leaders teach the survival skills
  • Museum personnel use activities for events
  • Music teachers create concerts  
  • Drama teachers prepare skits
  • Families enjoy for nighttime reading 

Click the LOOK INSIDE button to the left for a PREVIEW!

See 49 incredible reviews with photos of students doing projects!  Go to this blog RIGHT HERE.


“I never thought I’d teach a maritime history unit, but I’m so glad I did. This was my children’s favorite class and each workshop kept them engaged and excited to learn more. There’s a balance between depth of information and fun activities. A fabulous book and one I’ll keep for reference.” Jessi H., home educator

“A wonderful, rich resource filled with hands-on, multi-curricular lessons, and oral histories. Perfect for teachers, scout leaders, and museum professionals.” Sarah Krizek, Education Director, Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park, MD

“I found Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service by Rebecca Locklear to be perfect for the type of hands-on work that I like to use with middle-school students. The activities are well thought out and offer a great way of introducing students to the real-life people of the past. …Rebecca Locklear did meticulous work on these activities and the history is carefully researched. My husband, who was in the Navy, was totally impressed by her descriptive overview.”  – Celia M., educator

“This is an exceptional book and my older students found it captivating. The research is fantastic and even includes recipes as well as skits. The artwork is phenomenal. Schools should be using this, not just homeschoolers.” – Joan C., educator

“How do you give a person a snapshot of life in a bygone era that goes beyond memorizing facts? This resource gives me the direction I need to bring life to a wild time of transition in American history that students may not be able to wrap their heads around. The lesson plans provide an immersive experience thanks to art projects, songs, skits, recipes, and stories. Some of the activities are pure gold. I’ll be adding them to my bag of tricks no matter what I am teaching in the future.” Jonathan R., outdoor educator

Highlights & Features

Buy digital version on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT)Buy from Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum (print/will ship)Find in PRINT: Cape Cod National Seashore (MA), Chatham Historical Society (MA), Columbia River Maritime Museum (OR), Yellow Umbrella Books (MA), Herringbone Books (OR/will mail)

A wonderful, rich resource filled with hands-on, multi-curricular lessons, and oral histories. Perfect for teachers, scout leaders, and museum professionals.

Sarah KrizekEducation Director | Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park, MD