Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students explore BrainPOP features and resources about Memorial Day, including who the day honors, how and why it was established, and how we celebrate. Students will research and make a tribute movie about an American who was killed in service to this country.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about Memorial Day.
  2. Conduct research on an American who died in service to the country.
  3. Use Make-a-Movie to produce a tribute movie about the person.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard


Lesson Procedure:

  1. Have students share what they know about Memorial Day. Prompt them by asking who the day honors and what they do to celebrate. Be sure they understand that Memorial Day is in honor of troops who died in service to America, while Veterans Day honors living veterans, too, who served in wars and during peacetime.
  2. Tell students that today they will watch a BrainPOP movie about the history and significance of Memorial Day. Display the Memorial Day topic page on the whiteboard, and invite a volunteer to read the movie description at the bottom of the page.
  3. Show the movie Memorial Day to the the whole class once through without pausing. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.
  4. After watching the movie, have students open the Memorial Day Worksheet. Read the instructions aloud. Tell students that they will use the research they collect in this worksheet to create a tribute movie honoring a veteran who died in service to American.
  5. Have students print out their completed research, and instruct them to open their Make-a-Movie assignment. Explain that they are to use their research to create a movie paying tribute to the person they researched. Remind them to begin the lesson by writing their own letter asking “Who was… ?” or something similar.
  6. When students finish making their movies, have them share with a small group or the whole class

Extension Activities:

Students put their Memorial Day smarts to the test by taking the Memorial Day quiz.