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Iron Meets Iron: The Battle of USS Monitor and CSS Virginia

Target Grade or Age

Grade Level: 4th - 6th

Our talented team of Museum educators are committed to providing an engaging experience that brings SOL-related content to life for your students. We bring passion and energy to each program to ensure the highest level of impact and retention. To learn more about this program, click on one of the format options listed below.

Choose your experience:

Duration: 45 minutes

What happens when iron meets iron? Find out by investigating the 1862 battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia. Using historical images, students will understand the importance of this ironclad battle to Virginia, the American Civil War, and navies around the world, even today. During the program, students will become detectives and learn about six individuals involved in the history of this battle through a primary source analysis activity. After the program, students will know how to use a cipher disk and crack a coded message.

Most of our virtual education programs are scheduled through ZOOM Cloud-based video conferencing. ZOOM is free to use and requires minimal equipment. For more information, please visit: 

Learning Objectives

Students will: 

  • Better understand the significance of the Battle of Hampton Roads,
  • Learn how USS Monitor changed naval technology forever, and
  • Investigate primary sources related to USS Monitor.

History (VDOE 2023):

  • Elementary:  Skills VS (a-f, h), VS.1(c) VS.7(b, e, g); Skills USI (a-f, h), USI.9 (a-f)
  • Middle: USII (a-f, h)


Payment can be made before the program, or we can invoice following your program.

  • Programs at the Museum are $4.50 per student.
    All adults accompanying a field trip are free.
  • Programs at your location are $4.50 per student.
  • Virtual education programs are $125 per program.

Reservations are required for all programs and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs fill quickly in the fall and spring, so make your reservations a minimum of two weeks in advance.

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