Around the World in 80 Days: Day One

around the world in 80 days

Okay, so I was going to write one post summing up the week, but I knew when it had reached 4000 words it would be too much.  But I did want to record all we had done, for the children and I guess if some one wanted to do something similar, all the ideas would be there for them to use.  Gary suggested I separate it into one day at a time, so without further ado this is our learning for day one, when we read the first two chapters of Around the World: Chapter One In Which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout Accept Each Other, the One as Master, the Other as Man, and Chapter Two In Which Passepartout is Convinced He Has at Last Found His Ideal.

We are using the following book as the read aloud:


I can’t recommend this book enough.  It is completely unabridged but is also illustrated, not just with scenes from the book but also lots of back ground and historical information pertinent to the back drop and setting of Around the World in 80 Days:

Jules Verne:

  • We read the following biography throughout the week (as it was the one which was delivered first): Capture                                                                                                                                                                                Jules VerneWe found an old cover of Around the World in 80 Days and began to make the cover of our scrap book:scrap book 9
  • I found some caricatures of Verne which we had fun chatting about and figuring out why the artist had chosen to depict him in a certain way.  We also printed out quotes (just for Charlotte) from Jules Verne and interesting magazine or newspaper covers and pictures of interest.  With all these we created an author page at the back of the scrapbook:Jules Verne

Phileas Fogg Character Study

  • I wanted to do a character study of Phileas Fogg, but in a casual way.  So using a sheet of paper at the back of the book we began a page all about Phileas Fog.  Each day we would add to this and by the end of the study we would hopefully have lots of information, which I may or may not have the children put in a character study essay 🙂


Obviously scrap booking is what we spent a lot of our time doing this week and we have been blown away by how much we have learnt.  Seriously, this is a great, simple way to assimilate facts, and it naturally encourages discussions of ideas and facts.  Scrap booking rocks!

We created four pages just from the first day of learning!  Here are the first couple of pages:


and the next two:

scrapbook 11

Here are the specifics of all we learnt in just one day:

Lord Byron:

  • We read some of his poetry, and each child chose a favourite poem in anticipation for the poetry reading tea party we would be having at some point during the week.
  • We created a journal page using his poetry, three well known quotes and a caricature:Byron
  • We discussed why Phileas Fogg was described as Byronic and what might point to those characteristics in Byron’s caricature

The Reform Club

  • The Reform Club in Pall Mall still exists today, although it is now a gentleman’s club which in the last couple of decades admits women.  It has always been a membership only club, to which its members are required to where shirt and tie.
  • I copied some vintage maps for them to find Pall Mall on, and they were able to see straight away that it was bang in the middle of London, close to Regents Street.  These were stuck in their journal.
  • I photocopied some sketches of how it was back in the day of Phileas Fogg, which the children studied and commented on, afterwards sticking them in their journal:reform club

The Illustrated London News:

  • This paper would have been available to the men of the Reform Club in Pall Mall.  We talked about the different papers available today and discussed which one’s might appeal to the Gentleman’s club and which ones would have been considered smut.
  • I photocopied a page of the The Illustrated London News, and using a magnifying glass we took it in turns to read some of it, discussing its similarities to the various papers available today.
  • We added some clippings and pictures from old 19th century copies of The Illustrated London News:Illustrated London News


  • Whist is a paired trick card game.  I challenged Thomas to find out how to play it and set a game up, teaching everyone else as they played:Whist                                                                                                                                                                               whist 2
  • I also copied some vintage cards which Lillie arranged in the scrap book whilst Charlotte wrote out the basic rules on the back of a post card.  Together they created a collage in their journal:whist3
  • I have to mention that playing whist has to be one of the best card games I’ve ever played!  Next week I will be writing a post outlining exactly how to play.  So much fun and so simple even A7 can play it easily and B5 can play it with help.

Victorian Acrobats and Madame Tussauds

  • Passepartout was, among other things, an acrobat before he became a man servant.  These Victorian acrobats made fun additions to our journal, along with a list of jobs that Passepartout had done in his previous life.
  • Passepartout rather comically compares his new master as being as lively as the wax works at Madame Tussauds.  I hadn’t realised Madame Tussauds had been around during the Victorian times.  In fact, with a bit more research, we found out that Marie Tussaud’s first wax model was of Voltaire in 1777.  Who knew?  She continued to make wax models, and her first permanent display at the wax work museum was in 1836.  One of the main attractions of her museum was the Chamber of Horrors.  This was an exhibition of waxworks of notorious murderers and other infamous historical figures.  I managed to find a few old photos taken in the 19th century of some of the wax models (they are in the top right hand corner of the picture).  We used these to make up a journal piece in our scrap book:Madame Tussauds
  • I bought some Edam which has wax all around it, remembering vividly making false nails when I was little out of the red wax.  I asked the children to see what they could model from their wax:wax works2                                                       wax works1

Neoclassical Architecture 

  • This was the type of architecture around in Fogg’s time, having trended about a century earlier.  We found a few famous buildings which were neoclassical in style and popped them into our scrap book journal.  It was easy to see where their classical shapes came from (Ancient Greece and Rome):neoclassical archetecture

Saville Row

  • Saville Row, Mayfair, is where Phileas Fogg was said to live.  Just to help the older children become more familiar with London, I photo copied a couple of vintage maps and asked them to look for Saville Row and to name the roads nearby.
  • I found some vintage photos of the mansions and tailors in Saville Row.  These are mainly apartments now, but Phileas Fogg would have lived in a whole house, alone.  We studied the photos, pointing out any neo classical features we could see.  We added these maps and photos to our scrap book:Saville Row

Man-servants in Victorian Era

  • Mrs Beeton was the household name for household management back in the day, and as we happen to own her book I photocopied some of her rules and standards, as well as finding some adverts for servants as posted in a newspaper.  These were handy to add to our journal, in the same place we had added info about Passepartout:passepartout

Other Books by Jules Vernes

The children began the following books:

  • Thomas: 20000 leagues under the sea
  • Lillie: From the Earth to the Moon & Around the Moon
  • Charlotte: Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • A7: Who Was Jules Verne?

Around the World in 80 Books


This has been a lot of fun to see!  Charlotte decided to read the atlas, thus covering all 80 countries in one book!  It didn’t work – I disallowed it!  They have all done really well, with the girls reading to B5 and A7 reading lots of picture books all by herself.  They have coloured all the countries they have read from.  At least all except Charlotte.  Charlotte is incredibly inteligent, her reading ability seems to know no bounds and her vocabulary is second to none, but ask her to point out Saudi-Arabia on the map and she is more likely to point in the vague direction of Russia.  I am constantly perplexed by her geographical inability as she was definitely present for all the same learning as her older brother and sister.  So she has written me a list instead and once she hits 80 countries she and I will sit down and find them on the map.

Around the Dictionary in 80 Words

My children make me laugh.  Every day.  But can I just say this particular activity has had me creased over.  I wrote 30 words on the white board at the beginning of the week.  It will not surprised you that Charlotte had crossed off all 30 by day 4.  Whilst playing whist everyone was coming up with ludicrous sentences which included any of the vocab words they knew.  Of course Charlotte knew most of them and was LOVING this whole experience!  Poor Thomas, who had said right at the start that this would be the part he would not enjoy, managed very few.  Possibly because he was disinterested.  He is an avid reader also, so I would have thought he was up to the job.  Lillie just did her best.  These were tough words, some of which I didn’t know the meaning to.  Who knew Flunkey referred to a male servant?  Anyway we had a huge amount of fun pretending to be 19th century intellects for the morning!

I will be sharing 6 vocab words each day.  Basically I gave the children a choice of 30 out of which they needed to choose 20 to complete the task for this week (A7 joined in whenever she wanted to).


Tomorrow I will be sharing everything we learnt during day 2.  I will also be doing a separate steam punk post sometime next week.  This has been a seriously good week 🙂

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. I totally love the adventure you took your kids on! We did it the lazy mom’s way – using Youtube trip report videos, lol!

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