Teaching with Primary Sources Helps Create Disney’s Moana Educator’s Guide

On November 23, 2016, Disney released the animated film, “Moana”, about a Polynesian teen, Moana, who teams up with the once-mighty demigod, Maui, to save her people, fulfill the ancient quest of her ancestors to become a master wayfinder, and discover her own identity along the way.

The Teaching with Primary Sources program at the Library of Congress helped create the Moana Educator’s Guide by providing assistance with how primary source instruction can be applied to historical storytelling and mythology, waves, wayfinding, and sea turtles. Using primary sources in the classroom is a great way to provide first-hand experiences of events and foster critical thinking skills, deep understanding, and the analysis and synthesis of data.

Included in the Moana Educator’s Guide are 4 lessons and activities about The Hero’s Journey, Music and Rhythm of the Ocean, Wayfinding Using Earth’s Natural Elements, and Caring for Sea Turtles. Each lesson will help students gain knowledge of animal habitats in the ocean, enrich student’s viewing of “Moana,” promote conservation and STEAM-based skills, as well as empower students to create positive changes for wildlife locally and throughout the world.

The Moana Educators guide is a visually appealing, instructionally sound, and accurate focus on inquiry through culture-conscious and diversity-aware classroom activities. The guide also includes helpful teacher’s background information on each of the subjects. The Educator’s Guide is free to download, printable, and offers a step-by-step guide for classroom implementation.

This is a great way to learn about primary sources through a fun, engaging, and new animated movie that kids are sure to love. Check out the Moana Educator’s Guide and lesson plans and let us know what you think.

Click here for a googledoc containing more primary sources surrounding the history of Hawaii, wayfinding, waves, and sea turtles.