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Literature 20000Literature of the Mahaffie Era

  • Did people of the 1860s and '70s dream about navigating the oceans from below the surface?
  • What kind of adventures do you think they would imagine?
  • Would they even believe it was possible?
  • How would it compare to your idea of traveling on a submarine?
  • If you have traveled on a submarine, how would you describe your journey to a person in the mid-nineteenth century?
  • These ideas and many more can be explored in one of the best books of this era (if our opinion is to be taken as fact, that is) 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a must-read classic novel by Jules Verne (1828-1905), who is possibly the father of science fiction. This book was published as a magazine series in the early 1870s in French and we have no doubt the Mahaffies heard of it, although we cannot know for sure if they read it. This book uses a lot of typical Victorian vocabulary, making it an adult reading level. Savvy high schoolers will also enjoy it. We don't want to give too much away here-just go get a copy and give it a read! 

Disney's movie adaptation is an excellent family movie. Here is a link to watch it for free. 

After reading or watching this story, you may feel inspired to make your own submarine. Check out this link for a craft idea. 

Are you teaching this book to students, or perhaps as you homeschool your children? Here are some study guide tips for all educators. 

Check out more Learning at Home from the City of Olathe!