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Trains Activities and Quests

May 1-5

Workshop Activities

1. Craft – Paint Train Prints

2. Key Points – Train Timeline

3. Collaborative - Maglev Train - Make electromagnets

4. Writing - Locomotive - Word roots

5. Math/Logic – Train math game

6. Character Connection – Character Trains - What follows your actions?

7. Big Activity - Reenact the Transcontinental Railroad Completion Ceremony

8. Movement - Train Parts - Each student is part of a train

Weekly Disneyland Class

Self-guided tour - Students find answers about trains by reading signs and talking to the conductor and other cast members.

  1. New Orleans Train Station:

  2. What power makes the train run?

  3. Why are there rods between the train wheels?

  4. What are the different types of fuels for disneyland trains?

  5. What is the most powerful engine on trains today?

  6. How many train engines run at Disneyland?

  7. How is the whistle powered?

  8. What is the difference between a train whistle and a horn?

  9. How much power does a Disneyland train engine have?

  10. Why is there sand in the locomotives? How is it distributed?

  11. What is the big wooden tank at the station used for?

  12. What are the materials used to build a railroad track?

  13. What are the rails made of and why?

  14. What is put on the tracks when the train starts? Where does it come from? Why is it put there?

  15. What are the different jobs of the people who run the train? What do they do?

  16. How many different kind of carts and engines do you see? What are they used for?

  17. Which Locomotive did Walt himself drive on opening day?

  18. Which of Disneyland's 5 locomotives were built by Disneyland, and which purchased by Disneyland?

  19. What were the purchased locomotives used for?

  20. What was the transcontinental railroad?

  21. What do the Disney built locomotives have in common with the meeting of locomotives at the Golden Spike Ceremony in Promontory Point Utah that completed the transcontinental railroad?

  22. Transcontinental is a combination of two words: 1) Continental = relating to continents 2) Trans = latin for "across" Literally means "across the continents". This is because the 2 railroads connecting, one from the east and one from the west, literally connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, going across the entire continent.

  23. Monorail:

  24. What energy source does the monorail use?

  25. Why is this vehicle called the monorail?

  26. Activity (at monorail station) Trains of all types use sound as a code to indicate what they are doing. Look at the sound code. Have one person play the part of the train, and the other the conductor. The conductor will make sounds, the train will then do the action. (if whistle signaling does not appear, see attachment for the code)

  27. Choose an attraction and ride it looking in more detail at how it is like the trains you have already discussed.

Standard Disney Days

Boats and Trains

Craft: Students make their own train models

Main key Points - What kinds of boats are found at Disneyland?

Follow-up Activity – Boat Parts Game

Train key points Hunt – What types of trains are at the parks?

Attraction – go on a train and boat tour

Minecraft Class

  1. Hogwarts Express is a steam engine.

  2. How a steam engine works

  3. Create a rail system between cities

  4. Use the rail system to trade goods among cities

  5. Build challenge: build a type of train


  • Write three letters that reflect the life of workers building the Transcontinental Railroad, each from railroad workers to their families: one from a Chinese worker, one from an Irish worker, and one from a white foreman. In your letters, show the different perspectives and experiences of the three groups.

  • Watch a video about Disneyland's train engineers:

  • Write a science fiction story that involves a new type transportation.

  • Make edible trains:






  • Learn more about how a steam locomotive works:




  • Tour a modern train:

  • Label the train parts on a model or poster of a train:

  • Plan a trip from Los Angeles to New York. Figure out how you can get there by plane, train, bus, and car. Draw a map that shows the routes. Which is the most direct route? How long does each mode take? How much does each mode cost? Make a chart to show the results of your research. Write about which means of transportation you prefer and why.

  • Make up your own magnet experiments.

  • Demonstrate, by creating a diagram, flow chart, or three-dimensional model, some mechanical or engineering aspect of the transcontinental railroad that interests you. For example, you might show how a steam-powered locomotive moved (or stopped), how steel rails for the railroad were manufactured, how railroad tunnels were carved through solid mountains, or how railroad bridges were constructed.

  • Make a display showing various modes of transportation. You can use toys or print pictures from the Internet. Use these for these sorting and classifying activities as you compare and contrast the similarities and differences in the vehicles.

  • Sort by distinguishing features such as shape, color, and sound.

  • Sort into categories of land, air, and water.

  • Sort modes of public transportation from those that are not public transportation.

  • Put the vehicles in order of speed

  • Put the vehicles in the order of the number of passengers they carry.

  • Play some math games:







  • Create an alphabet list of various modes of transport. For example, A = airplane, B = bus, C = car, D = donkey, E = elevator, etc.

  • Compare the different model gauges.

  • Play Mexican Train Dominoes game.

  • Solve this classic train word problem: Two trains, 300 miles apart are traveling towards each other with one with a constant speed of 70 mph and other 50 mph. How long does it take for the two trains to meet?

  • Tally the different types of transportation they see in one week. Make a graph that shows how many of each type of transportation you saw.

  • Map out passenger train routes in the U.S. that were used 100 years ago and those in use today. If possible, draw these on sheet protectors, then overlay the routes to see how things have changed.

  • Make a scale representation of a train.

  • Practice some Morse Code.

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