Remember watching the Dumbo movie as a kid? I didn’t realize it then, but there are so many amazing life lessons to learn from both the movie and book . . . and those topics make for perfect Dumbo lesson plans (and there’s even an enough for an entire study unit).
We love lesson plans where we can read the book, watch the full movie, compare and contrast the differences, and then do some fun crafts and activities to go along with the topic.
(And, there are no shortage of Dumbo Disney crafts for kids, as you will see!)
The first thing that you’ll want to do for this study unit is watch movies and read books on Dumbo.
There are 25 examples of Dumbo lesson plans and Dumbo crafts and activities later in this post, so don’t miss them!
We’ll start with the most recent Disney movie in this series . . .
The latest in the Dumbo Disney offering is called (wait for it) . . . Dumbo.
(I know. So creative!)
Dumbo Movie 2019
What is the Dumbo movie about?
From the movie description:
“Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.”
It is rated PG.
The movie is directed by Tim Burton, so it does have that darker feel then the previous Dumbo movies (like the animated Dumbo 1941 movie).
Dumbo Movie Trailer [VIDEO]
Check out the Dumbo movie trailer:
(Yeah. I’m definitely going to cry . . .)
Dumbo Movie Cast
Who stars in the new Dumbo movie?
The cast of the Dumbo movie is super star-studded.
The cast includes:
Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier
Nico Parker as Milly Farrier
Finley Hobbins as Joe Farrier
Michael Keaton as V. A. Vandevere
Danny Devito as Max Medici
Eva Green as Colette Marchant
Alan Arkin as J. Griffin Remington
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Dumbo 1941 Movie
Many of us probably grew up watching an animated version of the Dumbo movie.
That animated version was probably the Dumbo 1941 movie.
While you may have some fond childhood memories of that movie, I do want to warn you that it includes some things that you may not want your children to watch today (stereotypes, drinking, and more).
I recommend that you head over and read the Common Sense Media on the Dumbo 1941 movie before you watch it.
NOTE: If your child is past the preschool age, you might want to watch the older version of the movie. I think that older movies often present an opportunity for discussion on why things that are presented in them are not OK today and how much we’ve learned since then.
DON’T MISS OUR OTHER AWESOME MOVIE + BOOK + THEME LESSON RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER THE POST!
Read Dumbo Books
Now that we’ve talked about the movies, let’s cover the Dumbo books that you can add to your studies.
Here are our favorites:
So you’ve learned about the movies to watch and books to read for this unit study.
Now, let’s get into the really fun stuff—the Dumbo lesson plans, crafts, and activities that you can pair up with the books and movies!
Lessons To Learn From Dumbo
Like I mentioned earlier, there are really great lessons to be learned from Dumbo (the books or movies). Whenever you do a book/movie unit study, look deeper into the messages. This allows you to pull out topics that you can spend time on for your lessons and projects.
For example, some life lessons from Dumbo include:
- Believe in yourself
- How to handle bullying
- Embrace your differences
- Finding friendships in unlikely places
- Treatment (and mistreatment) of animals
Be ready to jot down messages or life lessons anytime you’re reading or watching movies with your kids because you can turn them into interesting discussions and projects later!
Here are some Dumbo lesson plans, crafts, and project ideas, many that cover some of these life lessons (and some that are just for fun)!
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25 FREE DUMBO LESSON PLANS, CRAFTS, AND ACTIVITIES
- Before you watch the movies, grab this FREE movie review pack to help you with reviewing the movies!
- Plan a Dumbo Celebrating Differences lesson plan.
- Grab a lesson plan on friendship, respect, and tolerance. (This free lesson plans covers different books and topics, but Dumbo is included.)
- Make your own Dumbo ears.
- Download this lesson plan on elephants and an elephant sanctuary.
- Print Dumbo coloring page printables.
- Learn how to draw Dumbo [VIDEO BELOW]
- Download this free PDF to make a cute paper Dumbo.
- Make a Dumbo puppet.
- Host a book or movie watching event with a Dumbo circus party. (This is a great co-op idea!)
- Get teaching guides on character (different topics like anger, respect, trustworthiness and more). (K-12)
- Do a lesson on believing in yourself.
- Download a lesson plan on the history of the circus, including glossary, history timeline, and different lesson plans for different levels.
- Get some circus-themed preschool ideas.
- Make an elephant toilet paper tube craft.
- Do a lesson about elephants.
- Grab 12 (!!) lessons about elephants and elephant preservation.
- Do an elephants are kind lesson on compassion and kindness.
- There are a great deal of different lessons here if you want to incorporate elephants and the ivory trade. (Older students.)
- Do an Elephants: African or Asian project.
- Make elephant bread.
- Do elephant origami.
- Do a hands-on elephant unit study.
- Make these SUPER CUTE elephant cards (using balloons!).
- Make an elephant cake.