The Story of Walt Disney: Maker of Magical Worlds

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When Walt Disney was a child, he loved to draw. It's no wonder he grew up to create such memorable and loveable characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Walt Disney spent a lifetime entertaining and delighting millions of children and adults alike--on film, on television, and in his magical kingdoms of Disneyland and Disney world. This is his story.
Curriculet Details
12 Questions
15 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in the 4th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining the necessary background knowledge for this nonfiction text. It also contains videos that support comprehension such as primary source videos that are referred to in the text. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to author's use of evidence and reasons, vocabulary, and other text-dependent questions. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1 - Hog Rider

Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?  (This annotation contains an image)
The book you are reading is nonfiction. This book is about real people and real events.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the author describe the many times that Walt Disney moved as a child? 
Could these farm animals from Walt's childhood be the inspiration for the characters he would later create for his cartoons?  (This annotation contains an image)
What does it mean that Flora would "cut down" the old clothes for Roy and Walt? 
Long ago, houses did not have the type of heat in them that is available today. Homes were heated with wood stoves or fireplaces, and neither of these is very efficient at heating an entire house. A warm brick would feel very pleasant in a frigid house.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 2 - Comedy Act

What does this detail about the nightmares that Walt suffered from tell you? 
Vaudeville houses were very popular during an earlier time in America. Before the days of movies and electronic entertainment, people would go to vaudeville houses to see a variety of entertainment acts. There would be singers, magicians, and other acts to see! This old post card shows a theater in Kansas City during the time that Walt would have been performing there.  (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you read in the text, why was Walt upset that the empty bottles were lost? 

Chapter 3 - The First Movies

Why does the author include the details about Walt's money-making adventures? 
Carey Orr was a cartoonist who worked for the Chicago Tribune for most of his career. His cartoons were featured on the front page of the paper and were a favorite of almost everyone. The photo shows one of his Christmas cartoons; look at the title and the gifts under the tree to figure out Orr's message.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does "by a stroke of good luck" mean? 
The very first animations were basic. This clip shows a cartoon from the 1920s that features Felix the Cat. This is how Walt's first ads would have appeared.  (This annotation contains a video)
Here is a clip of the film that Walt made for the dentist. This clip is ten minutes long, so you can just watch the first minute or so. When Walt Disney made this film, dental care was a new idea. The lesson and film may seem very simple to you, but in the 1920s this would have been advanced.  (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz 1 

Chapter 4 - The Birth of Mickey: Mouse

Look at this picture of Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit. Does he remind you of another famous cartoon character that Walt Disney would later create?  (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you read in this paragraph, why does Charles Mintz have the upper-hand with Walt? 

Chapter 5 - The Three Little Pigs Wins an Oscar

What lesson did Walt learn from Charles Mintz? 
The Great Depression was a very troubling time in our nation's history. It was a time of great hardship for all people. Going to the movies provided a much needed distraction for people. The photo shows children lined up to see a cowboy movie in 1938.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 6 - "Disney's Folly"

Why does Roy insist that Walt meet with Mr. Rosenberg? 
Here is a photo of a 1938 newspaper with an ad about the showing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Radio City Music Hall.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 2 

Chapter 7 - Donald Duck Joins Up

Here is a clip of Seal Island that you will enjoy watching. The film is in black and white and may not seem like a big deal because you live in a world that is much more technologically advanced. You can see videos of other parts of the world with one click of a button. However, in 1948 that was not the case.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does the author provide the information about the live-action films that Walt made? 

Chapter 8 - The Magic Kingdom

Disneyland became an award winning television series. It also helped ABC gain large numbers of viewers.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does the author mean that the paint and concrete were "barely dry" when Disneyland opened? 

Chapter 9 - The Kingdom of Disney

Here is a clip of the Mickey Mouse Club that kids all over America watched daily!  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you have read in the text, what is true of Walt Disney? 
This is one picture that was released just after the death of Walt Disney.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 3