Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students watch the BrainPOP movie Parenthood. Then they use Make-a-Map feature (or a downloadable graphic organizer) to assess the cause and effects associated with each stage of parenting. 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about stages of childhood.
  2. Watch the Parenthood movie to learn about stages of development and parenting.
  3. Create a concept map identifying the effects of healthy parenting at each stage of childhood.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Optional: class set of the Cause/Effect graphic organizer (alternative to Make-a-Map)


Preview the movie Parenthood to plan for any adaptations. Assign the Parenthood Make-a-Map using the Assignment Builder. If students will be working offline, make copies of the Cause/Effect graphic organizer.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tell the class that today they are going to explore the topic of parenthood, including what parents’ responsibilities are at each stage of their child’s life and how this affects the child. Ask then what they think are the different stages of childhood. You can help them by suggesting one or two, such as infant and toddler.
  2. Project the Parenthood movie on the whiteboard. Read aloud, or have a volunteer read the summary that appears below the movie player.
  3. After watching, have students open the assignment, or if you didn’t make assignments, have them open Parenthood Make-a-Map. Alternatively, distribute  Cause/Effect graphic organizer (each student will require two copies).
  4. Ask students to watch the movie again within Make-a-Map. As they watch have them identify each stage of childhood, how parents care for their child at that stage, and the effects of their care. If this proves challenging, you can identify the stages as a whole class and note what it is the parent does at that stage. List these on the board as follows, as student type or write them into each “Cause” box. Allow time after each stage for students to identify on their own the effect of that care at that stage:
    Infant stage: Parents provide love and stability.
    Toddler stage: Parents give up some control.
    Preschoolers & School age: Parents give child independence with ongoing support.
    Teenager: Parents give more independence.
    Teenager: Parents set limits with clear consequences.
  5. Next, have students independently review the movie again to find the effects of parenting at each stage as noted in above step. Some students may want to use the transcript of the movie to find the effects. Here are the effects they should identify:
    Infant stage: Parent provides love and stability ---> Baby develops strong healthy relationships.
    Toddler stage: Parents give up some control ---> Child grows confident in abilities, feels respected, and learns self reliance.
    Preschoolers & School age: Parents give child independence ---> Child develops imagination and learns to take charge.
    Teenager: Parents give more independence ---> Teen figures out identity as individual.
    Teenager: Parents set rules / limits with clear consequences ---> Teen makes good choices and feels secure; tries new things.

Extension Activities:

  • Assign students to complete the Parenthood Activity: Interview a parent, grandparent, or caregiver they trust. They can record, film, or write the interview, and provide a summary at the end..
  • Divide the class into groups of six. Assign each person in the group a different Parenthood Related Reading to read. Then have them share what they learned with the rest of the group.