Grades 4-8


BrainPOP’s lesson plans suggest learning strategies, resources, and tools for introducing the topic (Discover), prompting critical thinking (Investigate), and expressing understanding (Create). The powerful combination results in students connecting with and building deep understanding of the topic.



The INVESTIGATE step of the lesson requires students to complete a pre-populated concept map as shown below, that you create and assign in advance:

  1.  Use Make-a-Map to create a map as below. Type the Anchor Question at the top.
  2. Type the “During the Movie” Discussion Prompts in the boxes. 
  3. Assign the map to the class in advance of the lesson.  



DISPLAY the Anchor Question on whiteboard and read it aloud: How did England set up its first colony in America?  Tell students they will investigate this question, returning  to it at the end of the

ASK students what they think might be some of the challenges settling a new colony?. Jot their ideas on the board. Read aloud the description below the movie player. 

MAKE CONNECTIONS by asking students to describe what it’s like to move to a new home or start a new school where everything is different than what they’re used to.

WATCH the movie Jamestown Part 1 as a whole class on the whiteboard. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.  




  1. Students open their Make-a-Map Assignment on their own devices. 
  2. They watch the movie again in Make-a-Map, pausing as they find evidence to answer each question. Evidence can be movie clips, still images, and text.
  3. Students SUBMIT their maps when they are done.

ADAPTATION NOTE: Have students select a single question to investigate rather than all.



APPLY KNOWLEDGE: Students work individually or collaborate to create one or more of the following projects. Remind them to use evidence from their concept maps in their creations:

  • A Jamestown Recruitment Commercial: Produce a commercial recruiting men to go overseas to settle the first English colony in Jamestown using Make-a-Movie.
  • A Colonizing Comic: Code a comic explaining why England was far behind other countries in settling colonies with Creative Coding.
  • A Day in the Life Story: Tell the story of a day in the life of a colonist during the early days of settling Jamestown with Make-a-Movie or Creative Coding
  • Captain John Smith to the Rescue Meme: Code a meme honoring John Smith for helping the colony survive.
  • Best of Both Worlds Concept Map: Identify the effects of an alliance between the Powhatan and the settlers using Make-a-Map



PRESENT: Students share their completed projects to their classmates. 

WRAP UP: Draw attention to the Anchor Question again: How did England set up its first colony in America? Students answer the question using their new knowledge.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments