The BrainPOP ESL Flash Words, a vocabulary flash card feature, can be used in a variety of classroom activities. Here are a few suggestions!

Play a Memory / Matching Game

The interactive nature of this feature makes it easy to play as a memory or matching game. Have students ip the cards to nd the pairs.

Find the Cognates

Cognates are words that are similar in many languages because they have the same origin or root, such as guitar, guitarra, guitare, guitarre, gitara, gitar, gitaa, kithára.
Students use their background knowledge and native language to gure out and better understand English words and help with comprehension skills. Recognizing cognates can help build students’ con dence because they realize that they actually know many more words than they thought! Make word walls with cognates in class, or have students keep a list of cognates they encounter.

Think of Related Words

Make a game to think of synonyms or antonyms for the Flash Words, or even words that are related, like luck/lucky/luckily/ unlucky. Another example is for students to expand on the Flash Words by thinking of related themed words. For example, if the Flash Words contain a few animals or classroom objects, then have students think of as many more words as they can to complete the category.

Find Analogies

Ask students if they can think of word analogies using the projected Flash Words. An example from the BrainPOP ESL lesson Have They Forgotten? (3.3.1) is: Clean is to dirty
as _________ is to old. Have students work in pairs to nd analogies. As you review the completed sentences with the class, prompt students to identify the relationship among the words in each analogy, such as synonyms, antonyms, examples, and word families.

Do a Connect Two

Use the projected Flash Words in a Connect Two activity. Ask students to think of any connections they want between any two of the words. They make connections based on their own background knowledge before encountering the words in

the BrainPOP ESL movie, or even in a new reading passage. Also, when they think of relationships among words, students are thinking on an analytical level, making Connect Two a wonderful vocabulary strategy to use instead of simply asking for a sentence and a de nition. If the activity is done in pairs, then the students have the bonus of thinking it through, and communicating their ideas to each other. This activity is good for differentiating instruction, since students can contribute sentences on any level.


A model or prompt such as the following must be used. You can create a handout with multiple examples of the model sentence, or simply write it on the board. Students connect any two of the words, in any way that makes sense to them.

__________and __________ are connected because ____________________.

Do a Word Sort

Use the projected Flash Words in an Open or Closed Word Sort. Word Sorts are vocabulary strategies in which students categorize the new words. In a Closed Word Sort, the categories are provided; in an Open Word Sort, students
sort the words into any categories that make sense to them, encouraging creativity and critical thinking. This activity should be done in pairs, so that the students think out loud and communicate their thinking to each other.

Do a Story Impression

In the Story Impression strategy, pairs of students write a one- paragraph story together, using the projected Flash Words. You can designate which words to use by flipping over the words you want to omit, and list them in the order they appear in the BrainPOP ESL movie. Since students must use the words in that order, they are also using predicting and sequencing skills.

Alternatively, project all of the Flash Words, and have students use as many of the words as possible, and write about any topic they like. When they have nished, invite students to share their paragraphs with the class. This strategy requires students to process the words on a more creative and higher cognitive level, which will aid comprehension of the movie and/or reading that follows.

Select Words for a Word Map

Word Maps are especially great for abstract concept words or dif cult academic terms. Try projecting the Flash Words and then ask the students to decide which words would make a good Word Map. Students create a visual representation

of a word on a four-square graphic organizer, also known as the Frayer Model. They use critical thinking skills and prior knowledge to make connections. And since students have varying degrees of background knowledge, it’s a great activity for differentiating instruction. Students contribute at their ability or level, and everyone is correct. The labels of the four squares can be modi ed according to the students’ level, such as Pictures, Examples, Non-examples, Synonyms, Antonyms, Related Words, Sentences, or De nition.

Do a High-Low Knowledge Chart

Before teaching the new words, project the Flash Words and have each student complete a High-Low Knowledge Chart. They should put a number by each word in the “Before Instruction” column, according to the scale. After they watch the BrainPOP ESL movie, they complete the “After Instruction” column. In this activity, students are exercising metacognitive skills, assessing their own knowledge of the new words.