In times of budget cuts, field trips can be the first item that is cut from the list at many schools. Have no fear, Disney is here! Now, I don't recommend we overrun Disney with tons of students too often, but the Disney Resorts do offer a lot of activities and items that go along with social studies and science standards.
I know at least in third grade, students study the different regions of the US, Hawaii, Canada, as well as the Caribbean and Mexico. What better way to expose students to these cultures than to actually go and see it is person, for free by the way.
Fourth graders learn about the different types of rocks and minerals. Wilderness Lodge has the rock fireplace with authentic rocks all the way up to the ceiling. There is also a display that shows the rocks of the Grand Canyon and the differences between the rocks.
Wilderness Lodge is an excellent place to learn about the Northeast region of the US and about Native American tribes and traditions.
Seeing a geyser actually erupt is a great science and social studies demonstration. It can even be tied to Wreck It Ralph and the Diet Coke volcano.
The artwork at each resort is distinctive of that location, like the wonderful artwork at the Polynesian Resort. Did you know that every cast member at the Polynesian Resort is trained on the culture and customs of the islands so they are each knowledge and incredibly welcoming?
Africa and all of the many great cultures that make up that enormous is not focused on in the third grade standards, but the Animal Kingdom Lodge can certainly be a field trip in itself. I still recommend it for any grade because it can encompass so many other standards.
Between the animals right on property, the night vision, and the authentic African artifacts make the lodge an incredible experience for students and their families.
When the field trip is happening, students can carry a clipboard with a list of questions so they can answer and learn as they go around each resort. A sample list of questions are listed below:
- What animal topiaries are outside of Wilderness Lodge? Why do you think those animals were chosen?
- List three Native American artifacts you find in Wilderness Lodge.
- Based on what you see in Wilderness Lodge, what are some of the natural resources of the Northwest United States?
- What animal footprints could you identify going in and out of Wilderness Lodge?
- Why do you think the Lodge is made mostly of wood and stone?
- What geyser do you think the one at Wilderness Lodge is modeled after?
- Discovery Island and River Country are closed but parts still remain. What story do you think you could create based on what you learned about each place?
- When does a road go under the water? How do you think that is possible? Why?
- Who is Mary Blair? Where on Disney property can you see her work? Where was she from? http://bit.ly/osesmary
- At the Polynesian Resort, can you find the “Kukui Nut” tree? What is so important about this tree?
- What is the Tapa story?
- How is surfing connected to social standing?
- How do you compare to the Menehune?
- What music do you hear at the Polynesian Resort? Why do you think it was chosen?
- How does fishing differ in the Polynesian islands than the Northwest US?
- What does Ohana mean? How does this relate to the culture of Hawaii?
- What landforms can you find in Hawaii?
- At Coronado Springs, list three artifacts you discover.
- How/Why is Coronado Springs similar to both Mexico and the Southwest US?
- Find the Lost City of Cibola and the Mayan pyramid. Write five adjectives to describe the temple.