1. Prepare a large chart for organizing student information.
Draw a large chart—approximately 0.9 meters (3 feet) high by 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide—on the board or chart paper. Include six columns, a row for column heads, and nine blank rows. Write the title of the chart: “Journey up the Hudson River.” Then label each column with the following heads from left to right:

2. Build background on Robert Juet and his journal entries.
Explain to students that Robert Juet was a crewmember aboard the sailing ship Half Moon, which was captained by Henry Hudson. Using a wall map of the world, invite a volunteer to point out the following as you explain it. Tell students that Henry Hudson and his crew, like other explorers of the time, were looking for a waterway to China by sailing west from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. Hudson and his crew navigated up the river from present-day New York City, New York, to present-day Albany, New York. They were unsuccessful and eventually returned to Europe when the river couldn’t be navigated any farther. Tell students that Robert Juet kept a daily journal of his experiences on the Half Moon. We can use his journal today to learn about this region of the United States before Europeans and other immigrants settled in the area.

3. Distribute the handout and read it aloud to the class.
Distribute the handout, The Journal Entries of Robert Juet on the Half Moon, which includes all nine journal entries. Tell students that you will read aloud the handout. Ask them to follow along as you read, circle relevant details, and underline any vocabulary or sentences that they do not understand. After you have read all of the journal entries, clarify any vocabulary or sentences that students underlined.

4. Organize students into small groups and distribute the worksheet.
Divide students into nine small groups and assign each group one of the nine days of journal entries. Distribute a copy of the worksheet Navigating the Hudson River with Robert Juet to each small group. Read aloud the directions with students and answer any questions they may have. Have small groups discuss the main ideas of their assigned reading and complete the worksheet as a group.

5. Have students complete the large class chart.
Have students cut their worksheets into six boxes. Ask each group to choose one member to tape their boxes to a row of the chart. Groups should tape them in the order of the dated journal entries.

6. Have students present their findings.
Have each small group choose one member to present their information. Have groups present in the order of the dated journal entries. Ask each presenter to give a brief summary of his or her group's assigned journal entry.

Informal Assessment

Rotate around the room, checking in with each small group as they work to make sure all students are contributing to the discussion and the worksheet. Check how well individual students are understanding the journal entry by asking targeted questions.

Extending the Learning

The website, The Hudson: The River That Defined America, includes maps showing the Hudson River Valley during the time of Henry Hudson’s explorations and today. Using the map depicting the Hudson River Valley today, have students re-trace the path of the Half Moon shown on the first map. Have a whole-class discussion about what Juet and the crew of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon might encounter along their journey today. On the board or on chart paper, organize these ideas in a Venn diagram to compare and contrast what we know Juet observed in 1609 and what he might observe today.

Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • describe the route of Henry Hudson and his crew
  • read or follow along as they hear a primary source text
  • identify main ideas and relevant details in a primary source
  • organize and present their findings

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Cooperative learning
  • Discussions
  • Hands-on learning
  • Reading

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards

  • Theme 2:  Time, Continuity, and Change
  • Theme 3:  People, Places, and Environments

National Geography Standards

  • Standard 17:  How to apply geography to interpret the past
  • Standard 6:  How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions

National Standards for History

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Chart paper
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • Transparent tape
  • Wall map of the world

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Required
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Large-group instruction
  • Small-group instruction

Background Information

Robert Juet was a crewmember with Henry Hudson on the sailing ship Half Moon in 1609, during Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River. Juet kept a written daily journal of his experiences. This primary source provides a firsthand perspective on the experience of exploring new and foreign cultures and environments. Juet's journal entries illustrate how the geography of a place influenced the experience of exploration.

Prior Knowledge

  • None


Atlantic Ocean

one of Earth's four oceans, separating Europe and Africa from North and South America.


person who studies unknown areas.


person who moves to a new country or region.


art and science of determining an object's position, course, and distance traveled.

physical environment

exterior features of a specific place or region.


buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.


body of water that serves as a route for transportation.


state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

Worksheets & Handouts