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

In the BrainPOP ELL movie, Fun on the 4th (L2U3L5), Ben and Moby celebrate US Independence Day with Ben’s grandmother at the seniors’ home where she lives. In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-8, students compare and discuss holiday customs and celebrations, define and explain academic vocabulary, and summarize the events of the movie in collaborative activities.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Compose stories applying new vocabulary to different contexts.
  2. Use a K-W-L chart to compare and discuss holiday customs and celebrations.
  3. Look up, paraphrase, and explain the academic word and concept independence.
  4. Look for explicit information in the movie, summarize, and retell the events.


independent, independence, independently, family, grandchild, grandparent, holiday, age, invite, serve, spend, weekend, fireworks, flag, , accidently, own (adj)

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Story Impression. The BrainPOP ELL movie Fun on the 4th (L2U3L5) includes content about US Independence Day. To practice the vocabulary that ties into the content, do a Story Impression exercise. Pairs of students work together to write a story (one paragraph) using at least four of the vocabulary words. You can project the Flash Words feature or list the words from the Vocabulary section on the board. The story can be about anything they like. When they have finished, they can share their paragraphs with the class.
  2. What is Independence? Have pairs of students look up the word independence and Think-Pair-Share how to explain it to the class with either a paraphrased definition or an example. Discuss the concept of independence with the class. Do they know about Independence Day celebrations in different countries? How do they celebrate? What are the customs or traditions? After watching the movie, students can fill out a K-W-L Chart comparing customs for similar holidays, and then discuss the similarities and differences.
  3. Viewing Questions. Before watching the movie, assign one of the sets of close viewing questions to each pair of students. They should read through their questions and work together to write the answers after watching the movie. Students should write complete sentences.
    Question sets:
    July 4
    a. What is the 4th of July?
    b. What happened on July 4, 1776?
    c. What is a different name for the 4th of July?
    d. Why is the answer from (c) a good name for this holiday?
    Ben’s Grandma
    a. Where does Ben’s grandmother live?
    b. Why did she want to live there?
    c. Why does Ben like to visit her?
    d. What do the people do there?
    Spending the Holiday with Grandma
    a. What is the party celebrating this month?
    b. What are Ben and Moby doing at / for the party?
    c. What do Ben and Moby have to remember?
    d. Why did Ben have an accident?

    Ask students to read their answers in order. When all twelve answers are read, they have a complete summary of the movie.
  4. You're the Narrator. After watching the movie, ask students to retell what happened. Replay the movie without sound, stopping for students to provide narration, or have students retell the story on their own. If needed, they can use the questions and answers from the previous activity.