Standards-based Guiding Questions

Communication - What rhetorical tools does Disney use to communicate in powerful ways with its audiences? How might you adopt and adapt such tools for your own communicative purposes?

Culture - In what ways do Disney movies represent the culture and values of people living in the United States? How does commercial entertainment shape our beliefs, values, perspectives, and behavior?

Connections - What can we learn about other subject areas from Disney? How are the techniques used in Disney films similar to those used in other disciplines?

Comparisons - How are Disney movies similar to and different from the movies created in other countries (in terms of their purposes, intended audiences, genre-related conventions, and the expectations of their creators)? How might comparing books, movies, and songs with one another allow us to see them and the world in new ways?

Communities - How do our beliefs, values, and perspectives shape commercial entertainment? Has Disney changed the communities you choose to be a part of in any way?

Project Description

Students pretend they work for Disney and collaboratively create a variety of creative products based on hypothetical scenarios that require them to use a wide variety of literacy skills.

Project Resources

To get you in the mood, check out this Disney en Espanol wiki that contains links to tons of video clips of Disney musicals in Spanish.

There is an online discussion forum for people interested in planning trips to Disney resorts called the Disboards. This forum has been holding creative challenges and contests for several months now. Because most of the challenges focus on communication, are designed to be completed in groups, and are intended to appeal to and entertain a community of audience members, nearly all of them would make excellent projects for foreign language classes.

Project Background

Background on the Challenges

Audience Challenges

Audience Challenges - A list of challenges given to the audience and designed in conjunction with each of the team challenges listed below.

Project Instructions & Examples

Below, you will find links to instructions for each task, examples of completed tasks, judges' scoring guidelines, scores, and judges' comments:

Award-winning Adventures (Examples, Judges' Scoring Guide & Results, Contest Winners)

Creative Crusin' - Design a new cruise ship (Examples & Judges' Comments)

Network Nonsense - DISnify a TV show (Examples, Judges' Scoring Guide, & Comments)

Future Features - Design the Walt Disney World of 2071 (Examples, Judging Results)

Audience Challenge: Loopy Logos - Design a logo for Walt Disney World of 2071 (Examples, Judging Results)

The Story Behind the Story - Write a prequel for an existing Disney film (Examples & Judges' Scores, Judges' Comments)

Audience Challenge: Character Capers - Recontextualize a Disney character in a new time or circumstance (Examples & Audience Voting Results, Winners)

Happenin' Hotels - Design a hotel and describe all of its special features, including architecture, amenities, guest rooms, special services, etc. (Examples, Judging Results)

Audience Challenge: Premium Promotions - Design a special promotional offer to entice guests to book a stay at a new hotel (Winner)

Individual Challenge: Talking to the Tabloids - Interview 3 people, then write up the interviews as they would appear in the tabloids (Examples, Judges' Scoring Guide & Judging Results)

Audience Challenge: Talking up the Tabloids - Create an unbelievable product that would be advertised in a tabloid (Examples & Audience Voting Results - First Set, Examples & Audience Voting Results - Second Set, Examples & Audience Voting Results - Third Set)

Individual Challenge: Musical Madness - Rewrite the lyrics to a particular song based on your experiences regarding a given topic (in this case, life on the Disboards) (Examples, Judges' Scores)

Audience Challenge: Back-up Band - Create a back-up band for a headline singer from 5 Disney characters (Winners)

Individual Challenge: Toontown Upgrade - Remodel Mickey's house and rennovate the rest of Toontown (Judges' Scoring Guide - Scroll to the bottom)

Audience Challenge: Radical Real Estate - Write a real estate ad designed to sell Mickey Mouse's old house

Miscellaneous Challenge: Crazy Captions - First person posts a picture, next person posts a caption, then a new picture. Next person posts a caption, then a new picture, etc.

Low-tech Alternative

All of the projects could be done with a little creativity, some paper, crayons, and scissors, and/or a standard tape recorder