by Wishes Diva
As a teacher and an avid Disney lover, I find myself often trying to think of ways to tie the two together. I love thinking of cute decorations that are Disney for my classroom each year. At the elementary school where I work, we have a school wide theme each year. It varies depending on the teachers’ votes. It helps us feel united as one building if we are all learning about similar things!
In the previous years we have done some themes that lent themselves very well to Disney themes. I am going to highlight two of them in this article in hopes that they can help you come up with something fun for your own classroom!
Theme: Swimming to Success
This theme was very easy for me. I decided to use the movie Finding Nemo and chose to highlight the “tank gang” from the Dentist’s office. In my room I have a very large cinder block wall that gives me the perfect space to put up posters and pictures for the theme.
I used black duct tape to outline the fish tank. To make the characters, I found coloring pages of each one online and then traced it on large white paper (that is usually for bulletin boards). After I traced it, I painted the characters and then outlined them with Sharpie.
DIVA TIP: I did choose to leave the characters small enough so they would fit through our school’s laminator to help protect them all year long.
For the volcano and the treasure chest, I printed off pictures and free handed the outline. The treasure chest was done on yellow paper and then volcano was done on brown. I used markers on the chest and spray painted the volcano for the lava. The other decorations that I used as seaweed were bought from the local party store.
I teach music, so I have over 20 classes that I see each week. I decided after my first year that I wanted to do a behavior incentive for each class. I make them earn 5 good class days and then I reward them with a fun game or activity. For the underwater theme I chose to do fishbowls and fish. I colored and laminated the bowls and then would draw the fish on with dry-erase markers.
For the same theme our librarian also did a Disney movie: The Little Mermaid. She used the same method of tracing. painting, and outlining that I did!
Theme: Mission Possible
This theme was a little more of a challenge. The idea was to highlight outer space and astronauts along with the planets. It wasn’t until about 2 weeks before school started that my wonderful husband suggested Buzz Lightyear, and I ran with it!
I wanted more than just one character so I chose to use the Aliens as well. I used the same method to create the larger scale characters for on the walls. The rocket ship was free-hand and I got the planets from Oriental Trading in a decoration kit.
For the behavior tracking this year I thought it would be fun to use the Aliens again. So I enlarged, printed and laminated their heads and each class gets to add googly eyes for their good behavior. The students really love getting to stick the eyes on after each good class! I bought a bulk supply of the eyes from Amazon.
The 5th grade team also took the Disney approach, highlighting Star Wars. They chose to use the Lego style Star Wars characters for their hallway decorations. Each teacher has a different character highlighted on their doorway that compliment the posters they have hanging in the hall as well.
The teachers have also used the Star Wars theme in their planning. They have planned different math problems to have the Star Wars theme along with a student choice project-led learning time they are calling “Jedi Training.“
As you can see, using Disney themes in your classroom is a fun way to tie everything together. There are thousands of ideas and hundreds of movies and characters to choose from and some really great teacher resources around to help! Teachers Pay Teachers is a great place to start, but also don’t forget your local party stores as well! I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!