Let me give you a little back ground; “Flat Stanley” is a rather old, but still quite popular children’s book by author Jeff Brown, about a young boy named Stanley Lambchop who becomes completely flat when a bulletin board falls on him in his sleep. Many humorous adventures ensue (like being mailed in an envelope to visit a friend), and “Flat Stanley” has expanded into a good-sized series throughout the years.
What does this have to do with Disney? Here’s my story: My mentor teacher during my last year of college was Mrs. Still, she loved Walt Disney World, and it just so happened that I planned to spend a week there after my internship was over. So of course I had to take Flat Mrs. Still along with me. She saw a lot of things! Walt Disney World is a perfect setting for a “Flat Stanley Project” because you aren’t just visiting one area; I would venture to say you’re visiting hundreds! Consider all the different parks, the different lands within the parks, and the different parks within the lands… choosing just one of these would make for an incredible research and writing project. Everything Disney does is rich with story, history, with sometimes a little – sometimes a lot of fact thrown in!
Take for example Expedition Everest – one ride, but the student could research and learn about the history of the mountain, biographies of those who have climbed it, or simply expository text giving the basic geological facts to share with the class. Combined with the pictures and the investment that the whole class has in it because “one of their own” went there – makes it a rich learning experience for all. EPCOT alone provides enough attractions for each child to research their own, or at least in pairs. With eleven countries to study, and everything in Future World being made forlearning, they just make it too easy!