The Xbox 360 Kinect game "Disneyland Adventures" allows first- and second-grade students to work in teams to research and plan a virtual vacation using online travel tools.
Working in "families of four," students begin by locating Disneyland on a map. They then decide when and how to travel, where to stay and what to take. Finally, they calculate the cost of the trip and how long they will need to save for it.
Students should use real travel and reservation sites as if they were actually making their trip reservations. They should input dates and other required information to determine transportation options, costs, hotel accommodations and other related expenses. They also should research weather, mileage data, gasoline costs and seasonal considerations.
Teams should use Microsoft SkyDrive OneNote or another web note-taking app to chronicle their tasks and receive feedback.
After they have researched and planned their visit, students can use the aforementioned "Disneyland Adventures" game to take the virtual trip, using their bodies to navigate the theme park.
This lesson was designed for first- and second-grade students (but can be adapted for other grade levels) to create learning opportunities in math, literacy, geography, collaboration, research and personal financial literacy.
Students should be evaluated on their collaborative work skills, story writing, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making. Transfer of learning can be assessed through individual goal setting and plans for the future.
- Consider a field trip to an airport or bank to connect the lesson to the real world.
- Use the "Disneyland Adventures" game for "walks" through the theme park to provide students with ideas for their journals.
- Extend research to Disneyland parks around the world for students who need a challenge.