It may be super challenging these days to come up with fun, engaging ways to keep your kid’s focus while being homeschooled. Luckily Disney+ has a ton of educational content! That’s right, Disney+ has way more than just the classic animated films or the latest Marvel blockbuster!
We have ten suggestions for you to check out with your student kiddos this week. If you’re looking for even MORE content, did you know you can search through Disney+ by genre? Just type in “Documentary” in the search bar to see EVERYTHING that’s available to watch!
Animal lovers should love this first set of documentaries! We think students studying animals, biology, or different geographical regions of the world might really enjoy these films! Each of these documentaries has an accompanying film that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the filming process. These could even be a great bonus for students interested in filmmaking, photography, or photo-journalism!
One of the latest additions to the Disney Nature lineup is Elephant. This documentary — narrated by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — follows a herd of elephants across the Kalahari Desert. The accompanying film, In the Footsteps of Elephant, shows the behind-the-scenes work that went into making the documentary.
Dolphin Reef is another great option! It offers a fascinating insight into animal behavior, and the similarities between dolphins and humans. Follow up this film with Diving With Dolphins to see how the film was made. The filming of this documentary led the crew from South Africa to Hawaii!
Our third Disney Nature documentary is Penguins. The film follows a group of male penguins in Antarctica.
The making of this documentary was in perhaps the most extreme conditions, as you will see when you watch its accompanying film, Penguins: Life on the Edge.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
This series made waves when Disney+ launched last year! The World According to Jeff Goldblum, an original series for the streaming service, takes a fun, lighthearted look at seemingly random topics.
It also offers a fascinating insight into human behavior and psychology, biology, history, and more! Topics include just about everything, from ice cream and sneakers to coffee and bikes!
If your kiddos are big fans of robotics, they might love to check out Expedition Mars. This documentary follows the adventures of Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. In addition to robotics, this would be perfect for kids who love space, science, and engineering.
Have you seen the Disney animated film Atlantis? Ever wonder if the Lost City actually existed?
Director James Cameron — the force behind Avatar — dives deep into a journey of uncovering the underwater site of Atlantis, using the work of the philosopher Plato as a guide! Ancient history fans will enjoy this film, as well as those interested in exploration, civilizations, and human history.
Origins: The Journey of Humankind
Speaking of human history, Origins: The Journey of Humankind tells the ultimate story of humans. This eight-part series tracks key discoveries and developments like fire, medicine, money, and the effects they have had on humans to this day.
Those studying history and anthropology may find this series particularly interesting!
Disney Parks and Studios History
Waking Sleeping Beauty
These last few suggestions may be of particular interest for students studying filmmaking, art, or film history, or are just looking for a creative outlet! Waking Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Walt Disney Animation during a tumultuous time in the company’s history. What it led to, however, would be considered the most successful decade in Disney Animation.
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy
There is something for almost everyone on Disney+, including Star Wars fans who are looking to perhaps learn something new about the franchise! Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy tracks the history of the original three Star Wars films, from early versions of the script to their Hollywood debuts! This documentary is perfect for aspiring filmmakers, storytellers, writers, and artists.
The Imagineering Story
Our last suggestion today is one of our favorites. We’ve shared our love of The Imagineering Story many times here over the past several months. If you’ve ever wanted an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the history of the Disney parks as seen through the eyes of Disney Imagineers, this series is for you! For students, this is a great look into the worlds of engineering, art, storytelling, and craftsmanship.
For extra credit, you can check out Imagineering in a Box, a free online curriculum that explores the different areas of Imagineering!
We know that times are a little different right now and that you may be adjusting to the kids attending school at home. And we hope that these can help give you a bit of insight into the vast amount of useful content that is out there right now! Sit on the couch as a family, turn on one of these documentaries, and learn something together as a family!
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What is your favorite documentary on Disney+? Let us know in the comments!