The Great Idea Group discussion
How would you like to take a year off and spend it travelling? More people than you’d
think manage to do this, whether it’s travel writers like Bill Bryson being an observant
tourist, celebrities like Ewan MacGregor roaming on his motorbike or ordinary folk like
the bloke currently cycling round Portugal. And not forgetting the lucky soul who’s about
to win the Job of a Lifetime!
How do they manage to finance their trips? What challenges and difficulties do they
face? How easy would you find it to just pack up and leave your life behind for a few
months or more? What make sit worthwhile?
The Competition – part one
This is your chance to win the trip of a lifetime, with the prize of funding to let you go on
your dream journey.
First you need to decide on the trip you would like to win. Discuss the following points
carefully – remember, you may have to live with your decisions!
Where will you travel?
Across an entire country or continent? A geographical collection (climb the 5
highest mountains? sail the 5 longest rivers?) What would be your starting and
How will you travel?
On foot? By bike? By hot air balloon? Remember your mode of transport will have
a huge effect on what you get out of your journey.
Where will you sleep? How will you eat? Will you be cooking, eating with locals or
What will you be able to take with you and how are you going to transport it?
What problems will you need to be prepared for? What aspects of your journey
make it special / exciting / thrilling / awesome? Do you have any specific goals of
things you’d like to achieve on your journey?
Will you be writing a book, or filming your trip? Or lecturing in schools about your
adventures? Or will it be a personal experience, to be shared only with friends?
The Competition – part two
Now you need to actually enter the competition! You need to submit a selection of travel
accounts (one from each member of the group). Each account should be a piece of travel
writing that does one of the following:
describes a particular location
tells the story of events that made a trip memorable
gives advice about travelling in a particular place or style
** The place you write about doesn’t need to be the place you want to go to. It can be
anywhere, preferably somewhere you know. The judges are looking for people who can
write about a place in a way that shows they have taken interest in the place and when
they read your text, they should feel like they are really there. In other words, that you
are someone who will make the most of the prize.**
Your teacher will announce the winners of the competition. They will then need to
decide what trip they want to make. Now, they might want to go on the trip they have
planned….or they might want to change their minds if somebody has a better idea.
The winners should tell the rest of the class about their planned trip first, and answer any
questions about it. Then the other groups should present their plans, making them sound
really exciting so that the winners might decide to use their plan instead. Why? Because
if the winners choose a different trip, the group that planned that trip will get to join
them and also go on the trip!
Don’t forget it’s a cut-throat world out there – make the most of the question time at the
end of each presentation to interrogate the other groups about any possible drawbacks
to discourage the winners choosing their trip. And don’t forget to make your trip sound
utterly fantastic and have a positive answer for every question!
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