Submitted by: Jaclyn Patanio

Grade Levels: 3-5

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students will use BrainPOP resources (including the Make-a-Map tool) to explore the effects of authors on our world.

Students will:

  1. Use web literacy skills to explore the life and works of an author and create a Make-a-Map.


  • Laptops with internet access for BrainPOP and Google Docs
  • Writing notebook
  • peer editing form


This lesson helps students understand the effect of authors on our lives. In my initial example to students, I use Lord of the Rings since it is my favorite book and J.R.R Tolkien is one of my favorite authors. I share with the students my experience as a child with audiobook shared by my dad and how I grew to love the genre he wrote about. I encourage you to share with students your own favorite author and his or her influences!

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Divide students into group and assign each group an author whose work they've read in the classroom. It is preferable to choose authors who have corresponding BrainPOP movies, such as Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie, Anne Frank, William Shakespear and J.R.R Tolkien.
  2. Have students individually watch their videos and complete the quizzes for their assigned author on their own. They will be required to watch the video once fully through and then on the second view pause to answer author specific questions.
  3. Students will use their different note gathering sheets during the second viewing provided in Google Docs.
  4. Once students have completed the 2nd viewing of their movie, they will create a Make-a-Map to start organizing their thoughts and information from the note-taking sheet. They should focus on the author at the center then work from there as to how they want to set up their map. Remind students to always keep in mind how the author has influenced them or their world!
  5. Use the following question to spark discussion: How does understanding an author’s motives and life story help you better understand their writing? What are some important ideas you took away from your learning of your author? Can you identify some implications of historical influence in their writing? How will mapping out their experience and history support your writing of the author's life?
  6. Assess student learning via the Make-a-Map submission, peer editing feedback, conversation, and notetaking sheets.
Filed as:  3-5, A Wrinkle in Time, Agatha Christie, Anne Frank, Authors, BPOPchat, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, English, Frankenstein