Disney Lesson Plans: 10 Ways to Make Your Trip to Disney World an Educational Experience
Teachers constantly balance learning objectives with engaging school activities. If your classroom has a chance to visit Disney World, what better way to accomplish both?
Whether it’s in the classroom or on a field trip to Disney World, your students will be thrilled to learn while doing. Here are 10 creative lesson plans for elementary and middle school teachers that focus on the educational aspects of the magical world of Disney.
Disney World lesson plans at the park
#1 History: Hall of Presidents
For an informational history lesson, have students attend the Hall of Presidents presentation at the Magic Kingdom theme park. This presentation highlights every president from George Washington to Barack Obama. Have your students:
- Take notes about one of the presidents
- Write a report or create a presentation about what they learned
#2 Science: Animal Kingdom
This science lesson plan focuses on the Animal Kingdom theme park at Disney World. Once the students have experienced the excitement of the Animal Kingdom, they can write about the most endangered species they saw. Have them answer questions such as:
- Which species are the most endangered?
- What can you do to help?
- What can your community do to keep those animals from ultimately becoming extinct?
#3 Art: Hollywood Studios
With animation and illustration being at the center of every Disney movie, students can have an informative art lesson at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This exhibit explores the art, animation, and history of Disney films. Encourage your students to:
- Draw their best Mickey Mouse or other Disney character
- Write a few facts on the back of the picture
- Team up with a classmate to create a presentation
#4 Photography: Disney World
As another creative art lesson, have students take pictures of their trip and make a photo journal from those pictures. Once students have assembled their photo journals, have them write captions describing those pictures and what they did on that particular day.
Disney World lesson plans in the classroom
#5 Writing: Disney World
For an imaginative writing lesson plan, have students respond to a prompt such as “If you could magically teleport to any place or ride in Disney World, where would you go and why?”
This assignment would be great for a narrative or expository writing style that students might encounter on state standardized tests. And it would also help them practice creating various types of poetry if they write their answer in the form of a poem rather than a story.
#6 Geography: Epcot Park
As a geography lesson, have students identify on a map each country found in the Epcot Park in Disney World. Once they identify each country on a map, have students pick a nation they would like to visit and answer these questions:
- What country did you chose?
- Why do you want to visit this country?
- What continent is it on?
- What language is spoken in this country?
- What is the currency used there?
- What animals would you find?
- What does the country’s flag look like?
- Where would you go in that country?
#7 Design: theme parks
Have students design their own attraction at the Disney World Park. They can work individually or as a group to create a ride or exhibit from any of the four theme parks of the magical world of Disney.
After they have designed their attraction, have them share their ideas and present it to the class, who will then vote for which ride they would want to go on.
Disney World lesson plans at the park or in the classroom
#8 Map navigation
- At the park: Give each student a map of the theme park they are currently in and have them pick a ride or attraction they would like to go on next.
- Have the students determine which route would be the quickest and how long the route is.
- You can chose a different student to guide the class to each ride.
- In the classroom: Give each student a printout of the Disney World theme parks and a starting point and a ride as a destination.
- Have them each determine the shortest route to take.
- Provide a scale on the map, if there is not one already displayed, and have each student estimate the total distance they will travel.
- You can also give them multiple rides and have them determine the route for their journey through the park to the various rides.
#9 Money management
- At the park: Allow students to manage their own budgets and keep a log of what they purchased, how much it was, and how much they have left after each purchase. This is a great way to let students practice their math skills as well as learn the value of money management.
- In the classroom: Provide the students with a list of items commonly purchased at Disney World and their prices. Give each student a budget they have to stay within and allow them to make purchases and log what they bought, how much it was, and how much they have left. Have students post their lists around the classroom so everyone can see which items each student bought.
#10 Dinosaurs: DinoLand
- At the park: Have students visit and research the five main dinosaurs in the DinoLand U.S.A. attraction in the Animal Kingdom and answer specific questions and present their answers to the class.
- In the classroom: Assign each student to a dinosaur found in DinoLand U.S.A. in the Animal Kingdom and have them present some facts about their dinosaur to the class.
Some questions you can have students answer about their dinosaurs are:
- What is your dinosaur’s name?
- What do they eat?
- How long ago did they live?
- Where did they live?
- How tall were they?
- How big were they?
- When did they become extinct?
A magical world of learning
These lesson plans are guaranteed to get your students excited about learning while enhancing their creative mindset. Disney is a staple in any childhood, and with the opportunity to explore the enchanted Disney World theme park, students will be thrilled to do their schoolwork.
If Disney World is a bit out of reach for your school or classroom, you can borrow these same themes and ideas for field trips nearby. Try a local museum, zoo, or even a virtual field trip!
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