1. This exciting lesson begins with the following journal prompt: “Have
you ever wanted to do something only a daredevil would do?
Something bold, daring, risky… even death-defying? Write
about an experience you had when you decided to do something
daring, or describe what daring adventure you would like experience
someday. It could be anything from bungee jumping to river
rafting through the Grand Canyon. Think BIG!” Allow the
students about 10 minutes to ponder and write about their daring
experience in their journals. Ask a few students to share what
they have written, or share an experience of your own (this
is very good way to build your relationship with your students).
Remind students to bring their journals every day for the rest
of the quarter.
Begin a short discussion on what it means to be a “dare-devil”.
What comes to students’ minds when they hear this word?
What do others often think of “dare-devils”?
How would you characterize such a person? Make a list on
of qualities that such a person might have; then create a
second list of people that the class would label “dare-devils”.
Perhaps the class might name modern figures such as Steve
Erwin (The Crocodile Hunter) or figures from the past such
Explain that during the week we will be reading about a man
who might have been considered a dare-devil by some, and
a fool by others.
Pass out the handout “Shackleton’s
Journey into Antarctica”, and have students take
turns reading the first page aloud (or independently).
reading, refer back to the list of “dare-devil” qualities
on the board, and ask the class: In what ways could Shackleton
be considered a dare-devil? Answers might be “He
tried to do something that had never been done before”, “His
expedition required him to take great risks”, or “He
had undertaken many risky ventures even when he had failed
in the past”. Discuss some of Shackleton’s
other qualities, and then have the class finish reading
two pages of the handout. Use the “Questions to Consider” at
the end of the excerpt to continue discussion (or have
the students complete these for assessment).
At the end of class, have students make predictions
about what happened to Shackleton and his crew (the handout
not include the outcome of the expedition, which heightens
1. Before students enter the classroom, post the following
journal prompt on the board: “Fear has been said to
be one of the most powerful human emotions. What does fear
feel like to you? Have you ever had to do something that
forced you to face one of your fears? Write at least a _
page on this subject.” Allow the class about 10 minutes
to write thoughtful answers to this question. Then, invite
a few students to share what they wrote in their journals
with the class.
Take a few minutes to review the reading covered the
previous day. Help the class to recall the events
of the voyage, up
to the point where the ship Endurance became stuck in the
heavy polar ice packs. Discuss the predictions students
made the previous day about Shackleton and his crew.
think they will survive? How many think that part of the
crew will perish? Ask students to record their predictions
in their journals. Then tell the class that today they
are going to read some journal entries written by Thomas
a member of Shackleton’s crew, and use dialectical
journal writing to analyze their reading. Review dialectical
journal format if necessary.
Hand out excerpts from Thomas Orde-Lees’ diary,
April 9th-10th, 1916 (you may use passages selected here
or select passages of your own). Ask several students
to read these excerpts aloud, and then ask the class
a dialectical journal entry in which they summarize the
facts in the diary entries and react to them. Encourage
also write down questions, opinions, and thoughts they
have as they read the entries.
At the end of class, collect the students' dialectical
journals for assessment,
and discuss issues raised by
the journal entries.
1. At the start of this lesson, have the April 11th excerpt
from Thomas Orde-Lees’ diary ready to hand out to
students as they enter the classroom. Instruct the class
to read this exciting entry carefully (this should take
10-15 minutes, as the entry is rather long). While the
class is reading, tell the students to think about how
they would feel if they had experienced this day in the
Shackleton expedition. How would they feel? What part of
the day would be the most trying?
When students finish reading, briefly discuss the events
which Orde-Lees addresses
in his journal. You may use the
following questions to direct the conversation
does Orde-Lees focus so much of his writing on weather
are the sailors at this point in the voyage?
dangers are the sailors faced with in this particular
all the emotions which Orde-Lees experiences, which
seems to be the most predominant? Why is this?
Orde-Lees believe they will survive this journey?
For the second half of class, students will practice
writing a creative journal entry based on the expedition.
They may either create a short story about a fictional
member of the crew, or write 5 journal entries in which
they imagine themselves as members of the expedition.
You may designate a page requirement if desired. Remind
class that a creative journal must contain well-developed
characters, present events in logical order, and include
Ask the class to share personal reactions
to studying Orde-Lees’ journal entries.
None for this