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

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore and make connections between terms and concepts associated with a BrainPOP topic.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm terms and concepts associated with BrainPOP topic.
  2. Explore the topic using BrainPOP resources, including the movie and related features.
  3. Use a vocabulary concept map to make visual connections between terms and their meanings.
  4. Share their concept maps with peers.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard


  • review the movie and features to plan for any adaptations.
  • Preview the suggested pause point discussion questions accessible on the the topic Lesson Idea Page.
  • Determine which of the topic’s features you plan on having students explore (e.g. Challenge, Creative Coding, Newsela, Primary Source, etc.)
  • Optional: Assign Make-a-Map using the Assignment Builder

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Write the BrainPOP topic on the board (e.g., Cells, Civil War, Geometry). Activate students’ prior knowledge by prompting them to brainstorm words or concepts associated with the topic. Jot them on the board.
  2. Display BrainPOP topic page on the whiteboard. Invite a volunteer to read the movie summary.
  3. Show the movie on the whiteboard or other display to the whole class. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.
  4. Pause as needed and/or for Pause Point Discussion Questions provided on the lesson idea page for the topic.
  5. Working independently, have students open the Make-a-Map assignment (if you used the Assignment Builder). Alternatively students click Make-a-Map for the topic and choose the Vocabulary Map template. Instruct them to type the topic name at the top of the map.
  6. Now students independently watch the movie again within Make-a-Map, this time pausing for words and concepts associated with the topic. Have them type the words into nodes and type a definition or explanation in their own words. Encourage them to link images and/or video clips available in Make-a-Map with each word.
  7. Next, have students share their vocabulary maps with a partner or small group, describing the meaning of the terms they chose and why the selected the images or video clips that they did.
Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, ADHD, AIDS, Absolute Value, Acids and Bases, Acne, Active Transport, Active and Passive Voice