Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, People Can’t Fly (L2U2L3), Ben wants to fly like the birds. As he discovers how unlikely that is, Ben and Moby discuss Leonardo da Vinci’s ideas and the Wright Brothers’ experiments with flight. In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-8, students use ordinal numbers to retell the events of the movie, sequence sentence strips, and categorize items in a specific order.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Use a storyboard to retell the events of the movie.
  2. Sequence sentence strips in the order they happened in the movie.
  3. Research a category with items that can be placed in an order, and present their findings to the class.


For Activity 2, create sets of the sentence strips for each pair of students using the sentences below: How the Wright Brothers Invented the Airplane
Second, they had an idea. They decided to build an airplane.
That’s how the Wright brothers invented the first airplane.
The fourth thing they did was try to fly their airplane again and again. They were happy when it could fly for one minute.
First, they looked at the birds and wanted to fly like them.
You are going to learn how the Wright Brothers invented the airplane.
Third, they built the first airplane.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Storyboard. After watching the movie People Can't Fly (L2U2L3), have students use the People Can't Fly Storyboard to retell the events of the movie. Students must use ordinal numbers to explain the order of the events.
  2. How the Wright Brothers Invented the Airplane. Distribute the How the Wright Brothers Invented the Airplane sentence strips (see Preparation) to pairs of students. Instruct pairs to put the sentences in sequence to construct a paragraph. There is a topic sentence, four steps, and a closing sentence. Point out to students that the ordinal numbers can help them figure out the sequence. When everyone has completed their paragraphs, show the movie again to confirm the sequence. As an extra challenge, instead of providing prepared sentence strips, have partners create their own sentences to put in order. They can then exchange their sentences with other pairs, and construct their sequenced paragraphs.
  3. Rank Them. Assign students to research any topic that involves ranking. You might want to brainstorm possible topics with the class, such as: Rank 10 mountains in order of height. Rank the 10 most popular baby names. Rank 10 countries in order of largest population. Students then prepare a creative way to present their information to the class.