Grade Levels: 3

In this lesson plan, third graders use BrainPOP Jr. resources to learn about author Allen Say. They explore comparing themes of stories written by the same author. Then they apply their understanding by identifying common themes from Say’s books.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Build background knowledge: Watch the Allen Say movie.
  2. Think and Do: Make a concept map identifying different themes from Say’s books.  
  3. Complete an Assessment: Take the Allen Say Quiz to show what they learned.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Offline Option: Printable Concept Web 
  • Offline Option: Printout of Quiz


  • Preview the movie Allen Say to plan for any adaptations 
  • Read Allen Say Background Information
  • Assign Make-a-Map (optional)
  • Assign Quiz (optional)
  • Lesson Procedure:

    1. Tap students’ prior knowledge. Prompt students to think of a challenging moment in their life. Ask: What did you learn from that experience? How might you share what you learned with others?
    2. Watch the Allen Say movie. Click the pause button each time a question appears in Annie’s Notebook and invite students to answer it. Then play to see how Annie answers it.  TIP: The pause button turns red to remind you to pause.   Offline Option: Print out the transcript and Annie’s Notebook for a grown-up to read aloud at home. Suggest that the child play Moby and “Beep” in response to Annie.
    3. Instruct students to open their Make-a-Map assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open Make-a-Map. 
    4. Instruct students to make a concept map that identifies common themes of Allen Say’s books.  Model how to use Make-a-Map. Start a new map by selecting “create new.” Then click a node from the menu sidebar, and put it in the center of the screen. Type the word “Themes.” Then show how to add keywords and images from the movie to their maps. Finally, demonstrate how they can play the movie, clicking the camera to take a moment from the movie and add it to their map. When students finish, remind them to click the Submit To Teacher button and/or print out. Offline Option: Students complete an offline concept web, writing words and drawing pictures that represent themes from Say’s books.
    5. Have students open their Quiz assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open the Quiz. You can choose the Easy or Hard Quiz.
    6. To hear the questions and answer read aloud, show students how to hover over the words. If you assigned the quiz, you will see students’ results in your Dashboard. If not assigned, remind students to click the Submit to Teacher button. Offline Option: Read aloud each question and answer options, repeating as needed.