Grade Levels: 9-12

NOTE TO EDUCATORS: The movies featured in this lesson plan contains contains depictions of the suffering and punishment endured by North Korean citizens. Due to the sensitivity of this topic, consider previewing the movies before showing them to the class.

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 9-12, students watch the BrainPOP movies Korean War and North Korea. Then they will write diary entries from the point of view of a child living in North Korea.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about North Korea .
  2. Watch movies about the Korean War and North Korea.
  3. Takes notes using Make-a-Map.
  4. Write a diary entry from the point of view of a North Korean child.
  5. Produce a movie of their diary entry using Make-a-Movie.



  • Preview the movies Korean War and North Korea to plan for any adaptations.
  • If students will be working offline, make copies of the Web Graphic Organizer.
  • Display the KWL chart on the whiteboard.
  • Assign Make-a-Movie for North Korea using the Assignment Builder (optional)

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tell students that today they will watch movies about the Korean War and North Korea.
  2. Ask students to share what they know about North Korea's history.  Mark their ideas in the K column of the KWL chart. Then ask what they hope to learn about the country, and mark their responses in the W column.
  3. Tell students that North Korea was formed after World War II. For more background, show the BrainPOP movie Korean War, pausing as needed to review concepts and vocabulary.
  4. After the movie, return to the KWL chart and ask students what they learned about North Korea. Add their responses to the L column.
  5. Now show the movie North Korea to the whole class. Before playing read, or invite a volunteer to read, the summary below the movie player.
  6. Next, have students open Make-a-Map from the North Korea topic page, or have them open the assignment if you assigned it (see Preparation). Instruct them to choose the spider map template or make their own. If students are not using individual computers, distribute the Web Graphic Organizer to complete offline.
  7. As students to watch the movie again,have them identify examples of what life is like there. Remind students that they can put images and video clips from the movie into their maps.
  8. Using the notes from their maps, students write a diary entry from the point of view of a child living in North Korea. Encourage teh describe their daily life, pastimes, family and hopes for the future. They can expand on their notes from the map to write their entries.
  9. For classes with My BrainPOP accounts, invite students to use the Make-a-Movie tool to narrate and illustrate their diary entries.
  10. Have students share their diary entries — either written or movie — to the class.
  11. Finally, bring have the class review the KWL chart. Ask them what they’ve learned about North Korea that they didn’t know before. Write their responses in the L column.

Extension Activities:

Have students do the a second mapping activity by recreating the boundaries of Korea before, during and after the Korean War. Begin a class discussion on the purpose and outcome of the war.

Divide the class into small groups. Assign different Related Readings to each member of a group. Have students read their Related Reading and share what they learned with their group.