1878 world map detail

Lesson 4
All Aboard! The Fictitious Journey

  • Time Required: several class sessions
  • Curriculum Fits: Geography, History, Language Arts

Lesson Overview

Students will create a chronological narrative as they embark on a fictitious journey around the globe. Students will become crew members on a whaling ship leaving Martha’s Vineyard in the 1800s. As part of their adventure, students will be assigned a geographical location that their ship visited. In pairs, students will create a journal entry that includes two or more important facts about the region studied. These journal entries will be compiled into one larger class journal, documenting the global travels of the fictitious ship.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will develop an understanding of different regions of the world.
  • Students will apply prior knowledge about journal writing to create a fictitious journal entry.
  • Students will increase their understanding of how places from long ago and around the world had an impact on their community.


  • prepared sources of information for assigned locations; such as, South Africa, Azores, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Hawaiian Islands, South America. See Map of Whaling: Ports and Sites section of this website
  • worksheet: "Where in the World", to organize information students read about their assigned port or region
  • display-sized world map of today
  • red stickers
  • John Tabor's Ride by Edward C.Day
  • Bluewater Journal: The Voyage of the SEA TIGER by Loretta Krupinski


  1. Teacher reads John Tabor's Ride and leads a class discussion about the various locations that John visited. Additional discussion about why whalemen left the shores of Martha's Vineyard, New Bedford and other whaling ports and where they traveled will give students a glimpse of a global voyage.
  2. Students are divided into pairs and given teacher prepared information about a specific geographical location.
  3. Students are given a red sticker and put their initials on the sticker. The students place the sticker on the class world map at their assigned location.
  4. Students read information and fill out "Where in the World" worksheet with information about their port, region or country.
  5. As a model of a fictitious journal, the teacher reads Bluewater Journal: The Voyage of the SEA TIGER.
  6. Using the graphic organizer, students create a journal entry as a first person narrative that includes two or more important facts about their port, region or country.
  7. Students share work with another pair of students and teacher. What can they add to their journal entry? Students edit and revise their journal entries.
  8. Students create a picture that reflects the factual information included in their journal entries.
  9. Students share their journal entries and pictures in logical sequence.
  10. Teacher compiles journal entries into a piece of historical fiction to share with students.
  11. Extension suggestions: have the class create an illustrated book of their fictitious journey, or an animated movie.


Martha Stackpole, Lauren Keaney-Serpa, Elaine Barnett, Kristy Fletcher