Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Jacques Cousteau Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Jacques Cousteau, and supports the standard of describing the lives and contributions of historical figures. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display the word “Conservation.” Ask students these questions: 

  • What do you think about when you hear the word “conservation?”
  • What might motivate someone to want to take care of the environment?
  • How do you think ideas about conservation have changed over time?


  • Read aloud the description on the Jacques Cousteau topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “In Practice,” “Trivia,” or “Did You Know?” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other. 

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Jacques Cousteau Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Jacques Cousteau while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary about Jacques Cousteau that answers this question: How did Cousteau’s ideas evolve over the course of his life?
  • Make-a-Map: Make a timeline that identifies specific moments in Cousteau’s life that impacted his beliefs and actions. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a comic that explains how Jacques Cousteau’s experiences impacted his beliefs. 

More to Explore

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of environmentalism with these topics: Rachel Carson and Humans and the Environment. 

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments