Friday, November 30, 2012

Walt Disney Unit/Lesson Plan

I guess I never posted this unit. This went along with our trip to California at the end of November. (I will date it as such.) We were at Disneyland for 2.5 of these days, and we did our school in the car and in the evenings or mornings at Philip and Allison's house. It was really fun to read some more about the plans and design behind Disneyland before going there---it brought a lot of things to our attention that we probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise. And the boys were FASCINATED with the theme park construction/imagineering books we read. There weren't really any books specifically for children (at least not at our library) but they actually preferred the level of detail in the adult-level books. I read them the most interesting parts and just summarized ideas from other parts. And we found a few videos online that were equally interesting. The history of animation is a pretty fascinating subject in itself, but our favorite parts were really the detailed explanations of how they design and build the theme park rides. Though I'm not a huge fan of "thrill rides" in any form (I like the quiet, sweet rides---Small World, for example), I found myself with a new appreciation for them after reading about their history and behind-the-scenes efforts to make them effective. I can get into the stories they're trying to tell more than I can get into the thrills. :)

Sam taught the children about forced perspective and some other design techniques used at Disneyland. (We loved that. So ingenious!) And this unit also led to a bunch of really good conversations in the car with the older boys about what kind of leaders are the most effective, what kind of workers we'd like to be, what kinds of things we can create to add value to the world, etc. (These weren't moralizing sorts of conversations---just interesting. There probably are no simple answers to any of these questions.) It was fun to have Sam with us for these discussions!

I just love the chance (or maybe, the impetus?) our homeschool is giving us to learn about everything! We didn't WANT a "break" from school during this trip because it was MORE fun to have books to read and things to talk about. There are so many things I would never have bothered to research or look into if we hadn't had a unit on them.  And yet those things have added so much to our enjoyment of the things around us! Having something absorbing to discuss together during the long car rides is an added bonus.

Forced perspective! Beautifully executed.

I love this face

Sweet big brother and happy little sister

We loved the rain!

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