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Rekenna
08-07-2008, 03:08 PM
I hope this is the right forum for this topic...

My DS is 9 and in the 4th grade, he will be missing 1 week of school for our upcoming family vacation.

If he can create an "educational" project the days he takes off of school may not be counted against him.

Anyone have any thoughts on such a project?

Some of my initial thoughts:

Math & Budgeting: how much everything costs, good deals, etc.

Engineering-spacing out of parks, individual ride set-up

Green-Living with the Land tour?

Epcot-the great ball, how it's structured.

Help!!:mickey:

DisneyBabies
08-07-2008, 03:29 PM
You may want to try the book 'Education Destination: Epcot'. You can get it from amazon.com. It give a brief history of each country in World Showcase at Epcot and then gives ideas of projects that your child can do. It also has a page at the end of each section that says "My favorite part of (enter country name here) is. . ." then gives kids a space to write, along with a spot for a picture.

tmosier
08-07-2008, 03:40 PM
How about early American history--- Liberty Square, the Hall of Presidents, and Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom and the American Showcase in Epcot?

Or transportation throughout WDW--- the monorail, boats, busses, horse and carriage, train, bicycles, etc.

PittFan
08-07-2008, 03:42 PM
How about the history of Walt Disney himself. He is an American icon. Many pics could be taken throughout each park, especially those depicting Walt himself. Whatever you decide, it sure would beat being in class !!!! :)

tink2006
08-07-2008, 03:56 PM
How about completing the passport at Epcot. Along with getting the stamp, your DS would have to ask each CM 2 or 3 questions...What do you consider the best/worst thing about your country, What is your number one export/import. Describe your country in three words or less. I think this would be both fun and educational for the whole family. We love talking to CM from each country and I think they enjoy the "ambassador" role.

Good luck and hope you have a great time!

disneyfan328
08-07-2008, 04:23 PM
why not combine some of the ideas above? We also printed up a travel journal ( think english) and used them as well.

We had to send in a letter to the principal and have it ok'd by our 2 kids teachers last year. We laid out why we felt that their education was important but so was family time and it our income bracket this was when we needed to go.

We had them budget money that they saved and earned to buy souveirs that they wanted. We also taught them about the flow of people and map reading and navigation with the bus systems ect at WDW. We did the land tour at epcot and also the sea to see about land and marine conservation efforts. We did some but not all of the countries at epcot and they learned a fact about each one of them. Disney can be very educational, but yet still very fun!!!

cer
08-07-2008, 05:17 PM
Animal Kingdom is rich with educational ideas. You could go with an animal study or taking care of the environment.

My daughter was beginning a study on parrots for school and we went to the flights of wonder show and afterwards she was able to get an interview with one of the cast members who works with the birds and we got pictures etc.

There is also that train ride to conservation station where you could report on protecting the environment and endangered animal species.

Maybe you could interview cast members and find out what WDW does to help reduce waste in the parks.

PrincessEmmasMommy
08-07-2008, 05:17 PM
A few years ago, one of my students went to Disney during the school year and I found a packet of homework for Disney online. I think I googled Disney Homework or Disney Assignments. It was great!
Jen

dmosher
08-07-2008, 05:55 PM
I would say epcot would probably be the best place for this as well though I can easily see using each if the parks as a learning experience. I would break each park up with it's own category and do a write up on each one.
Example:
Epcot: History and Cultural experiences. Maybe your child could ask 1 person from each country about where they are from and why they came to the US. Also each plaza has a specific learning point. Living Seas is about the oceans and rivers and the creatures that are effected by what we do to the water there.
Innoventions would be about the future and the use of technology to better ourselves and our world. The Land is about living with the land (obviously) and agricultural issues.

Animal Kingdom: Living in Harmony with Nature in our country as well as globally. COnservation, etc this would be easy as well as speaking to the animal trainers and caregivers that walk around. Rafiki's Planet Watch would be perfect to collect info.

Magic Kingdom: This would be tougher, but history works here, as does the idea of story telling and traditional AMERICANA with a spin.

Drop me a line if you like I can probably come up with more ideas or specifics if it will help.
:pipes:
D

BronxTigger
08-07-2008, 08:11 PM
I took a week off school in both 5th and 9th grades to go to WDW. In 9th grade, I didn't have to do anything extra aside from making up the missed classwork.

However, in 5th grade I had two projects. One was to keep a daily journal to share with the class. I think I had to also report the weather for each day, because I still have the journal and that fact is on each page (Oct 29, 1992 had a high of 84 and a low of 63, FYI). Even if the teacher does not require this, I recommend having your child do this because I'm glad I kept it - I added "artifacts" and photos to it. My "5 Day Super Duper Pass" is taped inside it - they used to DATE STAMP the passes!

The other assignment was more bizarre. Many of the trees in Epcot are labeled with the type of tree (and location?) I had to take a leaf and note the type of tree it came from. I had to share this (odd) collection with the class also. I don't recommend this activity.

Other ideas:
-Have the CMs at each country in WS translate a sentence. Use the same sentence each time. Extensions on this could be finding some other words in each language, facts about the countries, and maybe some food photos. (Social Studies)
-I like the budget ideas that some PPs suggested. Your child can find plane tickets on a website, hotel and park ticket prices on the Disney site, food prices in the parks, etc, and create a budget for a trip. (Math Skills)
-He could create a "travel brochure" giving information about the resort you stay at and information about each of the parks you visit. (Writing skills)
-At AK, get information about some animals (the conservation station usually has a presentation about a couple animals, as well as other information. They also do surgeries and if you're lucky, you can watch it from through a window.) At home, more research can be done about a few of the animals he liked best, including animal facts and their habitats. (Science)

If you really wanted to impress the school, you can use google to find appropriate state standards for the activities you choose and submit them with the projects. ;)

homeschool mom
08-08-2008, 10:21 AM
I homeschool my children and I am always trying to find ideas to make our WDW vacations more educational. I have used several of the ideas mentioned in this thread:
- we made our own passports and had them stamped in each country of Epcot as well as had each CM there write something in their language and then translate in English Our oldest DD 17 really enjoyed talking to the CMs from each country on our last trip. I have encouraged this for years, but she just found out how interesting it can be.
- we gave each DD $500 of imaginary $$ to spend and they had to keep track of what they "spent" and what they had left (not really budgetting, but they were quite young and it helped with the + and - skills)
- made an animal journal with pictures prior to the trip (on small cards held together with a ring) and they had to tell which country the animal was native to, its habitat, what it eats, etc.
- one DD did a book report on Walt Disney prior to the trip It was very interesting and we all enjoyed it. She read the report to us as we got underway on our long drive and then we had a discussion on Walt. Not planned, but hard not to do with all of that info.
- kept a journal during the trip You can google "Disney Journal" and probably find one to print. I can't remember where I got mine, but it was on a friendly WDW site somewhere.

This thread has been very helpful to me as a home eductor and I have a lot more ideas now for our upcoming trip. Thanks to all for the great tips.

36 days and counting :mickey:

Rekenna
08-08-2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks everyone for the terrific ideas-and his principal tried to say that WDW wasn't educational! I knew it was!:mickey:

IamBelle
08-08-2008, 05:56 PM
AHA!! My aunt always tells us to go "somewhere educational" instead of WDW, and I always said that it was, especially EPCOT. I knew I was right, lol.:mickey::number1:

Frog
08-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Love the idea of doing a project while at the world..
These are great ideas. I think a week at WDW done properly can be a very educational experience.

An idea I have not seen would be to put together a travel brochure.

Another would be to take pictures and learn how to use one of the slide show programs on a computer such as power point. The experience of learning such a program will come in handy as they get older!

Love this post...