Many teachers and group leaders like to give their students a travel journal to help foster a more engaging travel experience with the sites visited and ideas explored. Let us help. We’ve produced an array of various journal pages based upon our years of experience taking thousands of students to the historic sites of the Eastern USA. Whether as a stand alone resource, or something to be used in conjunction with already established curriculum and classroom assignments, your journal can be customized to fit your goals. We do not produce a “standard” journal for all schools, but rather allow you to browse the pages below and select the combination of cities and sites that accurately complement both your itinerary during the trip and your academic goals back in the classroom.
But first a little forewarning: While we want your trip to be academically engaging, we don’t want to over-emphasize a trip journal. The main reason you are on this trip is to experience historic sites in person rather than in a book. Unfortunately we have seen some groups and students get so focused completing a journal on site, that their “experience” becomes filling out questions more so than experiencing the site for itself. These trip itineraries are also typically paced at a quick, efficient flow, and often there is simply not enough time to pause, reflect, and write on site. Consider allowing time for such writing during bus trips or down time at the hotel. Also note, this is a resource we are providing for teachers to use as they see fit. It is not something that our guides automatically include or initiate. Our guides will certainly help answer the questions contained here and will be flexible to reinforce your use of the journal, but ultimately the teachers are the ones who select the content and implement the journal in their trip.
If there are any pages that are specific to your school that you would like to have included (such as dress and behavior expectations, chaperone group lists and phone numbers, daily devotionals, or additional class assignments), please use this Journal Template 5.5 x 8 provided to enter the text or images you want, and you can include it in your journal along with our pages.
Student Travel Journal Sections
Overview & Introduction
Every journal should come with this section which includes your cover page, table of contents, itinerary, introduction, and overview map of the historic Eastern USA.
City & Site Section
This will likely be bulk of your journal. Each of these sub-sections begins with a brief overview of the region with an accompanying map for orientation, and is then followed by a page for each possible site visited therein. Each site page provides a few facts about the site, a brief description, and a handful of questions related to that site. The questions are a mix of factoids, short answer, and open-ended inquiries. Specific sites for each city can be added or removed to your liking. Click on the city/region below to view the overview, map and specific site pages:
Colonial Virginia (Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Monticello)
Civil War Battlefields (Gettysburg)
New York City
This section is based around themes and ideas that can be explored at any number of appropriate sites or even at the end of the day at the hotel or at the end of the trip back home. Some examples of themes here are: Civic Responsibility, Sacrifice, Generational Complacency, Religion’s Role, International Diplomacy.
This final section serves as a place to reflect day by day and to highlight some of the trips more memorable experiences.
Again, please let us know we can make this journal most useful to you. We expect to keep amending and adding to these pages, and we appreciate the help and contributions of other creative teachers out there to keep this a dynamic resource.