This interactive website for children, families, teachers and the general pubic tells the story of Laura Jernegan, a 6-year...
This interactive website for children, families, teachers and the general pubic tells the story of Laura Jernegan, a 6-year old girl who set out in 1868 on a 3 year whaling voyage with her family. The journal Laura kept on the voyage forms the entry point into the website, engaging visitors to enter and explore the rich history of whaling. The site has two central narratives; the "Story of Whaling" and "Laura’s Story״. The “Story of Whaling” tells about 19th century American whaling voyages. “Laura’s Story” follows the personal story of Laura and her family. Each narrative links to and complements the other. Both narratives feature glossary definitions, artifacts, crew descriptions and numerous illustrations. The site also includes several interactive features: "Explore Laura’s Journal" presents the journal itself; visitors can view each page, either the actual journal itself or a text transcription. Visitors can also have the journal “read aloud” to them, zoom-in for a closer view, or try the “magic lens” which offers a dynamic transcription. "Explore the Ship" shows a cut-away view of a 19th century whaleship and enables the visitor to see and learn about all the spaces and crew members of a whaler. The "Map of Whaling" is an interactive map that lets visitors overlay various, related information on top of each other to create their own map. The overlays of information are: the route of the Laura's voyage, typical whaling routes, important whaling ports and sites, where the main whaling grounds were in 1878, major ocean currents, and whale migration patterns. "About Whales" introduces the visitor to the 6 major species of whales that were hunted. “Timeline of Whaling” presents important events in history of the American whaling industry during the late 18th century into the 20th century. World history events provide context. In order to the explore the subject in more depth, the visitor can see and zoom into many whaling artifacts, including objects, documents, maps and charts, photos and artwork. “Meet the Crew” describes the responsibilities and pay for each position aboard a whaler. A glossary feature defines and describes terms and phrases used throughout the website. Biographies provide more in-depth information about several people met in Laura’s story. A picture gallery presents portraits, logbook art and images of whaling, both onboard and on land. A selection of essays in the "More About....” section explores several important topics related to whaling. The topics include the dangers faces by whalemen, the impact of wars on the industry, the role of race in whaling, the role of women, food on whaleships and more. The site also includes lesson plans and a resources page for further study.
Nancy Cole, Lynne Whiting, Juliet Jacobsen, Jennifer Estabrook, Don Button, Mary Jane Aldrich-Moodie
Jun 30, 2011
Apr 10, 2014
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Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
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