Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this animals lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore various types of animals and their classification. Students then create a collaborative BrainPOP-based lesson to teach other students about the diversity of life through a selected animal or animal characteristic.

And check out some of our related movies, like Bats, Cats, Birds, Dinosaurs, and Dolly the Sheep!

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explore various types of animals and their classification.
  2. Create a collaborative BrainPOP-based lesson to teach other students about a selected animal or animal characteristic.


  • Access to the Internet and BrainPOP


This lesson can be used in several ways: throughout a unit on life science, at the beginning of the unit to pique student interest, or at the end as a culminating activity. Students should be very familiar with the basic format of BrainPOP resources such as the quiz, Related Reading, and activities.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Introduce the unit by showing the Related Reading Comic from the Vertebrates movie. Ask students to identify the vocabulary terms for animals with and without backbones.
  2. Set a timer for 60 seconds and have students individually or cooperatively brainstorm a list of as many vertebrates they can name. Repeat the activity with invertebrates.
  3. Ask students which activity was easier, and why. Which animals do they know more about? Which animals would they like to know more about?
  4. Explain that students will be working with a group to become experts on a particular aspect of the diversity of life on planet Earth, and that afterward, they will share their knowledge with the class. Show the complete list of BrainPOP movies in the Diversity of Life Unit. Allow students to choose their groups based on interest.
  5. Each group should plan a BrainPOP-based lesson to teach the class about their selected animal or animal characteristic. They may want to open their lesson with an Related Reading feature, then show the related movie. This might be followed by leading the class through the quiz and discussing its answers, or the completion of one of the activities. Students may want to use additional resources from the BrainPOP Jr. Animals Unit to simplify the topic, or add more in-depth information using additional movie topics from the BrainPOP Ecology and Behavior unit.
  6. Have students write their lesson plan as a group. Meet with each group separately to discuss their ideas.
  7. Allow students to teach their BrainPOP lessons to the rest of the class.
  8. Have students participate in creating the final assessment for the unit. Each group should create 2-5 test questions about their selected animal to be included on the class test.
Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Adulthood, Amphibians, Animals, Ants, Arachnids, Bats, Behavior