Make-a-Movie is a flexible tool that can be adapted to the needs of different learners, from struggling and ELL to high ability students. Following are some ideas:

Struggling Learners

  • Create movies based on direct recall by listing or re-stating.
  • Create movies based on a single vocabulary word or concept.
  • Make a movie matching words with vocabulary or concepts.
  • Teacher creates a simpler version of a BrainPOP movie.
  • Pair with an advanced student to plan and produce movie.

High Ability Learners

  • Create movies that require higher order thinking (e.g., comparing and contrasting concepts or describing how a famous historical person migh react an event in the modern world)
  • Expand on a BrainPOP topic by answering a question not addressed in the movie.

English Language Learners

Two hurdles for ELLs are conquering language and anxiety.  The fun, motivating nature of Make-a-Movie lowers their affective filter by making it easier to engage. And. the ability to erase and re-do helps to relieve stress. 

Make-a-Movie offers opportunities for ELLs to listen, speak, read and write English, including:

  • Talking about or explaining movies
  • Writing about movies using just single-word labels or short phrases
  • Recording to hear their pronunciation
  • Compare recording with computer-generated voice


Pre-teaching is an effective way to prepare ELLs for using Make-a-Movie. For example, you may pre-teach writing the introductory letter by providing a letter template for students to fill in, or if they know how to write questions, provide sentence prompts as follows:

  • How do/does ______
  • Why do/does ______
  • Why is/are ______

Modeling is another useful pre-teaching strategy.  Display Make-a-Movie on the whiteboard and use think alouds as you model how to use each feature: Build, Add Sound, Annotate, and Draw.