Hi, I’m Stephanie!
Hey there!
Welcome to Teach Me at the Castle! My name is Stephanie and I am a 3rd grade teacher in Southern California. I am also a diehard Disney Parks lover! When I am not in my classroom, you can find my kids and I hanging out at Disneyland. We are annual passholders who love just being in the parks, surrounded by the sights and sounds that bring magic to us all.

Here in this blog space, my goal is to bring that magic to not only my classroom, but to yours. I can never seem to take my teacher hat off! When I am in the parks, I find teaching inspiration all over the place. This blog is a collection of that inspiration. It is my hope that you will be inspired by my lessons and observations to bring a little Disney to your own students.
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  • Teaching Ideas
    Disney finds its way into my teaching all of the time! Here are detailed lesson plans that are sure to be a hit with your students.
    Learn more
  • Disneyland Resort
    Disneyland is my home away from home! I am always finding teaching and travel inspiration in these two parks. Join me as I explore the Disneyland Resort as an annual passholder!
    Learn more
  • Walt Disney World
    WDW is one of my favorite destinations (especially EPCOT -- a teacher’s dream land!) Come along on some of my Walt Disney World trips!
    Learn more

Cause and Effect in Cars Land

Using Cars Land virtual field trip to teach cause and effect

We have been working on Cause and Effect in my classroom this week.  Now, since Disneyland hasn't been open for over a year, I am missing it desperately.  Because of that, I decided it was high time we took a virtual field trip to the Happiest Place on Earth and visit one of my favorite lands, Cars Land.  While we were there, we might as well continue learning about cause and effect relationships!  So here is what we did.

I began with our daily Morning Message.  My students enter the room and immediately begin working on this.  For today's message, I wrote all about talking cars (working a bit on dialogue within the message.)  You can get a copy of the message here.   I then asked the kids if this reminded them of anything.  The kids almost instantaneously began shouting out that it was like the movie Cars.  So I asked if they wanted to go to Cars Land.  Of course they said yes...and we were off.

I turned on my virtual background (I had found a picture of Cars Land in my camera roll) to set the mood. I told them that since were here, we might as well go on Radiator Springs Racers.  It was at this point that the kids started telling me of the hours they have waited in line!   I told them that luckily for us, we have Fast Passes to make the ride a virtual walk-on ;)  

I found a first person POV of the ride from Attractions Magazine (it is clean and good for the kids) on youtube and played it for the students.  As the ride was going, I periodically stopped it to point out cause and effect relationships.  Why did the tractor cows fall over?  We honked at them.  Why did the police car stop us?  We were speeding.  I didn't stop it too much though, as I did want the kids to enjoy the ride.

When it was over, I showed the kids a Jamboard I created with a picture of some people during the racing portion of the ride.  I asked the students to tell me what caused them to be in a dead heat there in the race.  What possibly could have made them even?  I wrote their ideas using the Jamboard stickies.  Then we did the same for the effects. 

After that was done, I showed the kids the short CarsToon called Bugged. It is cute and only 1 minute 30 seconds.  While watching I asked the students to write down any cause and effect relationships they saw on the screen. What caused the bug to be waterlogged?  Why was the firetruck squirting the water in the first place?  What about the end?  What effect did the firetruck's caring have on the bug?  

When the movie was over (I did play it twice for them), the kids then input two of the cause and effect relationships they saw on screen on a collaborative Jamboard.  This then allowed them to see everyone's ideas instead of just their own.  It was a great way to share out without taking up too much class time. 

If you would like the Jamboard files, please click on the links above (or you can just click here.)

And that is it!  The kids had some fun while we continued our learning about cause and effect.

Now if only we could get back to the real Cars Land and do this all again in real life.... 


  1. How awesome and generous of you! "teach me at the castle" - how have I missed this?! Looking forward to experiencing this with my class next week. Thank you!


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