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Ironclad Marvels: 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.

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Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes

This program is a new version of the former educational program “Clash of Armor!” What happens when iron meets iron? Find out by investigating the 1862 battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia. Using artifacts, reproduction artifacts, personal correspondence, and historical images, students will understand the importance of this ironclad battle to Virginia, the American Civil War, and navies around the world, even today. Students will become detectives as they learn about six individuals involved in the history of this battle through a primary source analysis activity. Students will also discover how artifacts from the Monitor wreck site are being conserved here at The Mariners’ Museum and Park. They will participate in a mock-archaeological excavation of Monitor’s Dahlgren guns and learn what it means to be a conservator.

Learning Objectives

Students will gain a better understanding of: 

  • The significance of the Battle of Hampton Roads,
  • How USS Monitor changed naval technology,
  • Primary sources related to USS Monitor, and
  • Archaeological conservation and its importance.

History (VDOE 2015):

  • Elementary: VS.1a-g, i, VS.7a-c; USI.1a-g, i, USI.9a-f
  • Middle: USII.1a-g, i


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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