Flusche said as an avid Disney fan she uses Disney related ideas in her classroom to help students relate to the lessons she teaches. She was looking for new ways to engage her classroom while studying maps, and she thought since she had been to Disney World several times that they could learn while navigating the park’s map.
“I thought it would be a fun idea to have them go on a hunt through the park and use their compass rose and map reading skills,” Flusche said. “I brought up the map on the Disney World website and showed the park by giving them a quick virtual tour before we answered questions.”
Flusche asked questions like how to get from one ride to another, how to identify the water sources in the park, and how to identify the titles of the lands by using their key.
“They learned how to turn their map skills into reality,” Flusche said. “If I cannot take the students on a trip to use these skills, we might as well pretend.”
Flusche said she tried her best to bring the magic of Disney World to her classroom to better engage her students.
“I put on my Mickey ears and printed off ‘plane tickets’ for each student,” Flusche said. “The kids were thrilled. Only two of them had actually been to Disney World before. Students were all very engaged with each other and afterwards discussing with each other how to get from other point a to point b.”
Flusche said she thinks map skills are crucial for kids to learn, so each week she uses Google Earth to help incorporate maps into her everyday lessons.
“Students will be able to take away the importance of knowing directionalities and understand that what we learn in school helps us outside of our four walls,” Flusche said. “Activities like this help students get excited about what they are learning.”