Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Concept Maps topic on BrainPOP Jr.

What’s the Big Idea?

Pose a big idea or general topic to the whole class, such as Earth or books. Then challenge students to refine the big idea and turn it into something more specific. For example, if you start with the topic of Earth, then you might want to break it down into biomes or break it down into its physical parts (core, mantle, and crust). Help students understand that can start with a general topic and then focus on one part to explore. Invite a volunteer to come up with a general idea and then have another volunteer refine the idea into something specific.

Stay Organized

Using sticky notes, write different details about a concept, such as a historical leader or event you have covered in class. Some ideas should be broad and others should be specific. Place the sticky notes on a table or on the board and have students organize the details. Which ideas are related? What bigger idea do they support? Create a concept map together!

Missing Link

Remind students that they use arrows to connect related ideas together. They can also label the arrow with a detail that helps explains how or why the ideas are related. Create a concept map and invite students to come up with details to write on connecting arrows. For example, you may connect the topic of Mars with the Curiosity rover. The linking detail might be the date of the rover’s launch (November 26, 2011).