Grade Levels: K-3

This lesson plan accompanies the BrainPOP Jr. topic, Mae Jemison. As students learn about Jemison’s ground-breaking journey as the first Black woman to go to space, they discover SEL traits that led to her many accomplishments, such as curiosity and determination. Students apply their understanding by making connections to their own goals through a variety of creative projects. 


Display an image of Mae Jemison dressed as an astronaut. Invite students to brainstorm what the picture makes them think about. Prompt by asking: What do you think Mae Jemison’s job is? How can you tell? What do you know about astronauts? 

Follow up by asking: What does it take to become an astronaut?  What kind of personality traits do you need to have? What do you need to study?



  • Share some facts about Mae Jemison with the class, including that she was the first Black woman to go into space. See the Mae Jemison Background Information for more facts to share.
  • Play the Movie, pausing after Annie answers questions to check for understanding.


Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects.   

  • Make-a-Map: Using words, images, and clips to show what kind of person Mae Jemison is like and what inspired her. Or make a concept map showing your traits, inspirations, and goals.
  • Draw About It: Mae Jemison was curious about the world. Draw something you are curious about and want to explore.
  • Creative Coding: Code an interview with Mae Jemison in which you ask advice for reaching your own goals. 


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they learned about Mae Jemison and themselves! Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • What kind of person is Mae Jemison? 
  • How did being curious help Mae reach her goals? What are you curious about?
  • What clues tell you that Mae has determination? How did determination help her?
  • What did you learn from Mae’s life that you can use in your own life?
  • Who were some people that inspired Mae? In what ways did they inspire her? Who inspires you?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with either the Mae Jemison Easy Quiz or Hard Quiz.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments