Around the World in 80 Days Summer Adventure


around the world in 80 days

I was planning on taking full advantage of the fact that Thomas wouldn’t be around for much of the summer and actually take a break.  We had already completed five weeks of summer writing (something I really want to work on over the next year), and I had let the children know nothing more was expected of them until September……a week later I was pulling my hair out.  There is a reason we never take long breaks and that reason was staring me in the face.  Actually five of them were staring me in the face  (that would be a Thomas, a Lillie, a Charlotte, an A7 and a B5).

Our children don’t do well without a purpose in their day.  Both Gary and I are the same, so we know where it comes from, and I guess we can’t blame them 🙂  So this week, whilst they have been busily ensconced in church holiday club volunteering (older ones) and participating (younger ones) I have had time to prepare a summer adventure extraordinaire!  It is based around the very excellent Around the World in 80 Days written by ‘the father of science fiction’ Jules Verne.  Handily, this French novelist was alive during Victorian times, and this particular novel is all about Londoner Phileas Fogg and his attempt at circumnavigating the world in the autumn/ winter of 1872.  This, therefore, fitted in perfectly with our current Victorian Unit Study 🙂


I’ve been a bit sneaky whilst planning this because I knew in order to sell a summer school adventure to five children who thought they were on holiday for the next four weeks, I had to come up with something, well, sell-able, if you know what I mean?  The following is the results of many hours of enjoyable dreaming…..

  • Reading Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days

I have chosen the following book because it is the complete unaltered text with a stack of interesting and historically pertinent illustrations:


  • Creating an Adventure Scrapbook

I will be reading this book out loud whilst the children create a postcard to send back to London based around that week’s reading.  We will be using blank postcards, some of which the children will decorate the front of and some of which they will write in.  Pretending to be Phileas Fogg, they will be sending a postcard to themselves at 10 am each morning, because this seems to be something that Fogg very well might have done 🙂

I have my grand dad’s collection of old stamps which I will dig into for each postcard sent.  Of course we’ll not actually be sending them, but we will be using them to add to a scrap book journal which we will all contribute to.


The illustrations in our copy of Around the World in 80 Days will provide a springboard for further research for items to stick into our journal.

  • Playing the board game Around the World in 80 Days

I have also bought a game based on the book, which I will be playing with the little ones each day (and the older ones can join in whenever they want):


But that is not all!  Ho no!  I have many, many other plans also 🙂  My main goal this August is to set the children multiple tasks which they must endevour to complete.  There will be daily rewards as well as a huge reward for all the children at the end of the month.  So without further ado, here are the tasks I will be setting the children.

  • Around the World in 80 Books

I am challenging the children to find and read 80 books about 80 different countries.  They will be allowed to go to the library and shop in our own home (I would say we easily are able to cover 80 countries with the books we already have here).  Each child will get a map of the world and will colour in each country they have read a book about.  These can be fiction, or non fiction, but must be set or mainly about the country in question.

  • Around the Dictionary in 80 words

Each week I will be writing 20 vocabulary words on the white board.  The older children’s task is to find out what they mean and to use them by dropping them into our every day conversation.  They must be used effortlessly and in the correct context for them to have completed the task.  Each child will have a colour assigned to them and I will cross out the word with that colour once that child has used the word correctly.  Each word needs to be used by each child independently.

  • Around the House in 80 Hours

Yes, the children will be working around the house, clocking up 80 hours between them 🙂  For this to happen they need to do 20 hours of work between them each week, working out at about five hours each week for the older children and 2 1/2 hours for each little one.  (or an hour each day m-fr for the older ones and 30 mins m-fr for the little ones).  I will also be trying to clock up 80 hours of my own.  There are so many little things I need to do to make our home more homely that I have decided to try to out do the children!

  • Science Fiction According to Jules Verne

I have bought four more novels written by the man known as the father of science fiction.  The older children must read all four novels during the one hour quiet time they will have each afternoon.  Reading these books will gain you something which they will want in order to complete the final task of the month (I’m coming to that in a minute!):


There will also be one book about Jules Verne and the children need to familiarise themselves with him, Phileas Fogg and Passepartout enough that they will be able to act as them during the interview, which Gary will be videoing (I will be the interviewer):


  • The Invention of Steam Punk

This is one for all the girls.


Over the past few months we have been collecting lots of clothes and hats which the girls are going to attempt to upcycle to Victorian Steam Punk.  Their task is to create at least four different Victorian Steam Punk outfits and prepare a fashion show based on their designs.  They also need to write the narrative to go with their costumes so that I can read it out during the fashion show, which we will invite the neighbours to come and watch.  The girls will be doing most of the work for this during the time Thomas is at Soul Survivor.

  • Around London in 8 Destinations

And it is here we come to the point of the whole month’s learning.  Gary and I have got together with my lovely mum and created an itinerary which I know will excite all the children.  Do you remember me writing about Gatto’s Guerrilla curriculum, and how we hope to include some of this in the children’s every day school?  If you haven’t read the posts, take a look!  I was very excited about the possibilities! ( here, here, here and especially here)  The last post talks about the children going on adventures and building their confidence by doing things which are slightly out of their comfort zone.  This is what ‘Around London in 8 desinations’ is supposed to do for my three teens.

London has so many places to visit which are Victorian, so the final task for the three older children is to travel up to London alone and visit the following eight places and get photos of themselves outside each place:

  1. Victoria Station
  2. Sherlock Holmes Museum (£10)
  3. Tower Bridge (Free during a boat tour)
  4. Victoria and Albert Museum (Free)
  5. Royal Albert Hall (Free as just getting photo outside it)
  6. Natural History Museum (Free)
  7. The Albert Memorial (Free)
  8.  Ragged School Museum (Free)

Gary and I have figured out that the children could manage all of these in one day.  He is taking the day off work and Mum has kindly volunteered to look after the little ones, enabling Gary and I to follow the children up to London and meet them at pertinent places along the way.  This means they won’t have to cope all day long on their own in London, but will nevertheless be stretched out of their comfort zone (but safely).

All the tasks described above this last one will help them to earn things they might need for the trip.

Around the House in 80 Hours will earn them £100 each for the month.  Sixty pounds of this is their regular allowance which is paid for three hours of work per week, and this will need to be split up accordingly (10% tithe, 40% activity, 10% phone etc see this post and this post for more information).  They will each earn £40 extra, which they will not be required to split up and will be theirs to spend however they wish).  This £40 will give them enough money to cover their trip to London.  However, if they wish to save that forty pounds for clothes or music or books they have the option of earning specific items for the trip from all their other tasks…..

For example, helping the little ones with their Around the World in 80 Days Scrap Book and Around the World in 80 Books will earn them a one day travel card covering all their travel up to and around London.  Around the Dictionary in 80 Words will earn them the opportunity to watch an episode of Sherlock Holmes each day to get them in the mood to go to the infamous Baker Street museum, as well as an entrance ticket each for that same museum (£10).  Each time the older children play the ‘Around the World in 80 Days boardgame they will earn some treats to eat whilst watching the episodes of Sherlock Holmes.  Reading all the Jules Verne extra books and knowing about him and his characters well enough to be interviewed (with dress up for extra food) will earn them their packed lunch, snacks and drinks to keep them going during their day up in London.

The younger girls will also earn a few treats during the month.  If they work well, with a great attitude all month they will receive a milkshake with Granny at the cafe down the road and an afternoon watching the film of Around the World in 80 Days.  If they do their chores each day to a high standard they will earn a little bit of money to spend at the charity shop in our village, as well as some food to feed the ducks with.  Granny will take the girls to the duck pond and charity shop in the morning.  I will also be putting together a pack of fun activities for them to do during the day with Granny, if she needs to fill in any gaps.

Yes, folks, it’s unbridled bribery and corruption this month at angelicscalliwags!

I gave them their ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ summer adventure pack, which I’d spent hours creating.  Charlotte was just a little bit excited….


Especially when she heard about the vocab words.  She’s just a little odd 🙂


  1. Great ideas! You are so creative! It will be fun to see it all unfold. I especially like the postcards and the visiting pertinent local spots. It reminds me again of the size differences between England and the US.

  2. This sounds wonderful!!!! K is actually in the midst of reading “Around the World in 80 Days.” She just read the post with me and wants to do a few of your extra activities 🙂

  3. WOW! WOW! I wish you had been my teacher growing up. I love the whole thing. What a grand adventure at the end.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. How fun! I’m with Dawn – I wish you’d been my teacher growing up. I might also be with Donna, wondering if you’d consider adopting, but I’d like for you to adopt ME. 🙂

    1. Lol! Sure, I’ll adopt you. You’d have to bunk in with my son though…..we live in a very small house and he is the only one with any room 🙂

  5. I can definitely relate to the children needing a purpose in each day! Ours have also enjoyed having summer activities organised. I especially like the around London in 8 hours challenge for your older children- that sounds very fun! We have listened to an audiobook of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but have not read any of Vernes’ other books. Pinning this for future reference!

  6. This is on my list of books to read with the kids, but I don’t have planned anywhere near as many fun things as you do.
    Not too surprsingly I have a few friends who are very into steam punk, and have a few pieces for it as well. I look forward to seeing what the girls come up with.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.