Around the World in 80 Days: Chapters 1-4

The Whole Story series has a unique documentary approach:
  • Complete, unabridged text as origianlly published.
  • Generously annotated with hundreds of extended captions: lively, succinct explanations of history, geography, social customs, the animal world, architecture, literature, and science.
  • Lavishly illustrated in color and black and white, featuring line drawings, maps, photographs, diagrams, and painting, many of which date from when the story was written.
I was very excited to have found this at Rainbow Resource and it arrived this week!

So here are the highlights of our first week:

Chapter 1: In Which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout Accept Each Other, the One as Master, the Other as Man.

Phileas Fogg lives in London. He is quiet and private. No one knows too much about him except that he is habitual and rich. He spends most of his time at The Reform Club, where he eats and plays table games with other men of wealth and power. Phileas hires a new servant named Passepartout. Passepartout is a lively young man who, in contrast to Mr. Fogg, has led quite an exciting life.
  • Vocabulary: enigmatical, pernicious, avaricious, taciturn, viand, eccentric, grenadier
  • Review Geography Song: British Isles
  • Label Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the capital London on map
  • Discussion questions from Trail Guide to World Geography
Chapter 2: In Which Passepartout is Convinced That He Has at Last Found His Ideal.

Passepartout’s first analysis of his new master is that he (Fogg) is as boring as a wax figure in a museum. Passepartout’s life has been quite complex until now, and he thinks he will enjoy a simple life in serving the boring Mr. Phileas Fogg.
  • Vocabulary: physiognomist, phlegmatic, chronometer, superfluous, rubicund, vagrant, chagrin, whimsical.
  • Discussion questions from Trail Guide.
Chapter 3:In Which a Conversation Takes Place Which Seems Likely to Cost Phileas Fogg Dear.

Phileas Fogg discusses a recent bank robbery with his friends and how the thief was able to escape the country rather quickly due to transportation advancements such as trains and steamboats. Phileas declares that the world is “smaller” because of these improved methods of travel and that a trip around the world can be made in eighty days. Mr. Fogg wagers half his fortune that he can travel around the world in eighty days.
  • Vocabulary: edifice, whist, ponderous, stoical, almanac, scruples, tranquil.
  • Discussion questions from Trail Guide.
  • Learn how to play a game of classic Whist, the game Phileas Fogg played at the Reform club.
Chapter 4: In Which Phileas Fogg Astounds Passepartout, His Servant.

Passepartout, who believes he has finally found a job where he can settle down, is surprised to discover that he is about to embark on a whirlwind trip around the world. They pack just what they can carry and begin the first part of their journey by train.
  • Vocabulary: conscientiously, chary, susceptible, ensconced, stupefaction.
  • Learn what a mackintosh is and what a carpet bag looked like circa 1870.
  • Discussion questions from Trail Guide.
  • Phileas Fogg and Passpartout took a cab to the train station. We learned that the English word cab is a shortened form of the French word cabriolet, which denotes a two-wheeled, one horse carriage with a raised seat in the back for the coachman.
Fogg's proposed route: Ferry and Rail: London to Suez via Mont Cenis and Brindisi 7 days Steamship: Suez to Bombay 13 days Rail: Bombay to Calcutta 3 days Steamship: Calcutta to Hong Kong 13 days Steamship: Hong Kong to Yokohama 6 days Steamship: Yokohama to San Francisco 22 days Rail: San Francisco to New York 7 days Steamship & Rail: New York to London 9 days Total travel time: 80 days We compared that to what it would take to travel around the world today:
"To replicate this trip today your flight itinerary would look something as follows: London, Bombay, Hong Kong, San Francisco and back to London. I found an itinerary on that completed this route in only 28 hours and 15 minutes at a cost of $4,817. This cuts Jules Verne's 80 days (1920 hours) by 98.5%."
Here, we found that (in 2007) for only $4817 you could fly:
Fri 1 Jun 2007 - Flight number 345 London Heathrow 6/01 6:15a to Bombay 6/01 9:40p 10 hrs. 55 min. Fri 1 Jun 2007 - Thai Airways 318 Bombay 6/01 11:25p to Hong Kong 6/02 11:45a 9 hrs. 50 min. Sat 2 Jun 2007 - Air Canada 8 Hong Kong 6/02 12:45p to San Francisco 6/02 3:15p 17 hr. 30 min. Sat 2 Jun 2007 - Continental 8240 San Francisco 6/02 4:30p to London Heathrow 6/03 10:30a 10 hr. 0 min. "If you are observant, you will notice that this flight involves something between 48 and 49 hours of travel. Yet my calculation above indicates only 28 hours and 15 minutes. Within this discrepancy lies Verne's secret ending to his wonderful book."
Fogg left London by means of a train, so we did some activities on train travel, did a train vocabulary sheet and notebooking page. I printed out this train puzzle for my preschooler.

Here is a map we found of Fogg's journey around the world.

We are making our own as we go!

Delightful Links:


  1. This looks like so much fun. My 13yo has been wanting to do more geography. Have you done the whole Trail Guides book? It sounded like it ended with the Around the World book, is that right?

    I think they are going to be at our conference and this looks like a fun addition to our boxes! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Leslie, we have used the book mainly as a resource and a guide. It has notebooking pages to make an illustrated geography dictionary and notebooking suggestions, but you have to buy a separate book for the maps. I also have Hands On Geography and use that for ideas.

    Yes, the last section of the book is a unit study on Around the World in 80 days. I appreciate it for the mapping suggestions and the discussion questions.

    The hardest part is coming up with more hands on ideas (since we have already been around the world and this is a review). I am finding this to be mostly an oral discussion and just want to enjoy it without making it too much "work."