Guest Post: A Day in First Grade with the Lesson Plan Diva


BrainPOP Educator, Jenaya Shaw, is a teacher at B.B. Harris Elementary in Duluth, GA. Jenaya is passionate about incorporating hands-on differentiated activities into her daily instruction.  Jenaya’s website, The Lesson Plan Diva!, provides free resources and lesson ideas for teachers to use in the classroom.

Imagine for a moment that you are a first grader in my classroom, “engaged, intrigued, motivated and ready to learn!”  How does this happen? Well, it’s simple. Make your instruction meaningful, rigorous and better yet…fun!  One of the most important ways is by incorporating technology into my daily lessons and regularly using BrainPOP as a part of my mini lessons.

Let’s focus on a Language Arts lesson on nouns. The class starts out by watching BrainPOP’s Noun movie.  As a class we discuss some of the important parts from the movie.  Next, we do “turn and talks,” where students discuss things they’ve learned with their immediate neighbor. We then use one of the awesome activities, Speedy Nouns, on the Lesson Ideas page.  Different colored post-its are passed out to partnered groups, and students then race to label all of the nouns they can find in the classroom.

Next, the class incorporates all of the knowledge learned so far in our literacy centers. I made a noun trivia game that I use in one of my centers for the students to play in a Jeopardy-like fashion and it was a huge hit!  Students were so excited about playing and answering all of the questions about nouns using some of the great facts about nouns learned from Moby!

The class is taken to the computer lab so they can Draw About It! Students love this more than using paper and pencil!  They get a chance to make their picture using as many nouns as possible and then print the picture.  These same pictures are incorporated into our Writing Workshop time by having them write a story based on their pictures. This was the most popular writing assignment this year!

To wrap it up with an assessment piece, I pull up the Word Wall cards on my Mimio board.  On the student’s own index card they write each word and glue it onto a 5 square graphic organizer.  Students also draw an example of each word and then took it one step further by explaining the word.  BrainPOP provides so many resources we use daily and my students love it!