Learning maps at Disney Parks with North Star Geography is fun, Map skills are a cornerstone of any great geography program including North Star Geography from Bright Ideas Press. Learning them is easy. Practicing them is essential in order to hone them as well as keeping them fresh. One way my family works on that is during our weekly treks to the most magical place on earth. Considering that map skills are touched on in every weekly lesson , there is always something fresh to practice.
North Star Geography is designed for middle to high school. You don’t need to wait until then to start map skills. Familiarizing them with maps at an early age helps them learn better how to use them as older children. Geography as well as map skills are important to teach. Don’t neglect it thinking it’s unnecessary in our digital world.
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First, you need a set of maps. Really , any Disney map would work for these assignments. Sometimes I let them choose. Sometimes I lay them on the table to figure out which map to get. Disney maps make the activity so much more fun than a regular map. Let’s face it. If it’s fun, they’ll remember it. For my visual learners, this cements learning in their brains. When they need to access the info, it comes back to them by remembering experiences.
- Find a location in the park (one that you’ve pre-picked)
- Go North (have them draw a compass on the map ) and turn East
- Go 3 miles down the street and tell me what’s on the left ( Have them draw a mile marker grid on the map)
- Have them go different directions, change mileage, etc…
- How far is it from Pirates of the Caribbean to Haunted Mansion?
- Draw the prime meridian and the equator
- Draw all the lines of latitude and longitude
- Label a map
- Tell me the coordinates to Cinderella’s castle (pick a location)
- I want to go to ????? and I’m at ?????. Give me directions.
- How do I get to Mickey’s house ? Where does Duffy the Bear perform? I want to see Fantasmic. Which park do I go?
- Have a fun Amazing Race adventure just in World Showcase . Split your family into teams with an adult or parent going with each group.
All done orally or through dictation (except the drawing unless they are using a map they drew on prior). Quick . Easy. Done.
- Make an itinerary using 3 means of transportation, 4 rides, and 2 table service restaurants including 1 character meal, etc…..
- Give me directions on how to get from Point A to Point B using only only cardinal points . (N,S,E,W)
- Where am I? Follow my trail using my points of longitude and latitude.
- Plant a fake geocache. Pick location and write up entry.
- Have a fun Amazing Race Adventure with other teams utilizing the entire Walt Disney World Resort. You could pit parents against children or families against families. Make it fun.
For this level, all answers are written out. It takes a bit longer but it should still be quick, easy, done. The point here is to reinforce the skills they are working on in North Star. Make it fun for everyone. We don’t do it every time we go to the parks either. That would make it not fun which defeats the purpose. It’s suppose to be so much fun that your kids don’t know they are learning.
Remember when I told you that you could have your own set of maps?
Don’t want to use Disney maps? Check out all the maps on the WonderMaps cd! Useful for Mystery of History studies too!