A Living Theme Park

Ready to change the game in your classroom?

At The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, every little detail from the plant life to the architecture to the paving stones beneath your feet and the font faces used on the signage helps to carve the theme park into easily distinguishable “lands” like the rough-and-tumble “Adventureland” and the sleek and retro-futuristic “Tomorrowland.” Each land has its own story with its own unique sense of place and purpose. And to lend cohesion to each of these disparate tales, the iconic castle sits at the dead center of of the park to connect them in a series of spokes stemming from one central hub, almost as if walking through the magical castle helps bring each of these new worlds to life.

So let’s capture the same sense of excitement in our classrooms!

New unit, new story. New colored handouts, with a new end-of-unit “challenge” looming large every three weeks. And maybe even a new font face or logo on top to boot. Make a few themed “park icons” of your own by throwing in a few royalty-free photos (TheNounProject.com is excellent for icons, and my favorite site for free stock photos is Pexels.com), and each unit really starts to feel like its own little “land” inside of the larger content-inspired universe you’ve created — each with a story of its own just waiting to be discovered.

As Walt Disney and the Sherman brothers might say, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” A clever bit of theming can get your students working, thinking, laughing, and ENGAGING from the very moment that class begins until long after the final bell has sounded for the day’s instruction. Get the adrenaline pumping early, and students leave excited to come back to see what you have in store for tomorrow.

Click here for a sampler of different themed unit introduction slides.