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From an Idea to Disney: How Imagination Built a World of Magic

Last updated Monday, August 3, 2020

Author: Lowey Bundy Sichol
Illustrator: C.S. Jennings
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 132845360X
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2020

Synopsis: From an Idea to Disney is a behind-the-movie-screen look into the history, business, and brand of the world's largest entertainment empire. With humorous black and white illustrations throughout, learn about how brothers Walt and Roy Disney started out with just an idea that eventually became the biggest entertainment company in the world.

Note to readers:
•  Throughout the book, vocabulary words are in bold letters and the definition is included per chapter.
•  The reading content become shorter starting at pages 38 to 50 (be prepared to engage discussion after these pages) to support attention span of the students
•  The last page of chapter 5 talks about the death of Walt Disney due to his smoking habits. (Try to end the discussion on the positive work of Walt Disney so that the story doesn't end about Walt's smoking habits)

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  When you hear or think of Disney, what comes to your mind?
•  Have you ever been to Disneyland or other Park with rides?
•  What’s your favorite theme park? Favorite ride or thing to do?


•  Employ-give work to someone and pay them for it
•  Tar-a dark, thick, flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal (used in roadmaking)
•  Laid Off - Downsizing in a company which involves the reduction of employees in a workforce.
•  Revenue - The Amount of money a company brings in for selling its products or services
•  Bankruptcy- When a person or business does not have enough money to pay for its debts
•  Contract - A written or spoken agreement
•  Intellectual property rights - Ownership of a creative work or invention
•  Animated - A movie or image made using animation techniques
•  Innovation - A revolutionary new way of doing something

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What was one of Walt Disney favorite things to do growing up in his childhood?
•  Why did Walt Disney refuse the deal from Charles Mintz?
•  Who created the cartoon name of Mickey Mouse?
•  How did Walt Disney make his cartoon characters and films stand out?
•  What is your favorite Disney Character or Disney movie?
•  Bring up a copy of the map of the United States and go over the Disney family peregrinations.

Craft ideas:
•  If you could create your own theme park what would it have? What would it look like?
•  Draw your favorite Park or one you would create.
•  Draw your favorite Disney Character
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Special Discussion: If you could create a Disney Pitch, what type of Disney Character or Movie would you like to innovate?

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!