Cnidarians Concept Map Lesson Plan

Submitted by: Miguelina Ortiz

Students will create a concept map, a storyboard, concentration game, and invent a Cnidarian based on the information they gather from the Cnidarian movie on BrainPOP.

Students will:

  1. Students identify the characteristics of Cnidarians.
  2. Students identify Cnidarians as invertebrates.


  • Computers with internet access for BrainPOP
  • Knowledge Rating
  • Know & Wonder graphic organizer
  • Index cards
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pencils


jellyfish, backbone, phylum, invertebrate, aquatic, radial symmetry, sessile, nematocyst, prey, stun, budding.


Preview the movie before the lesson and gather all materials. Since this is a differentiated lesson plan, you will need to divide students into two groups, on/above grade level and below grade level.

Before viewing the movie, students complete a Knowledge Rating for the vocabulary presented in the movie indicating, "they know the word"; "they are familiar with the word"; "they do not know the word." Students complete a Know and Wonder graphic organizer. They list what they think they KNOW about cnidarians and what they WONDER about cnidarians.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. ON/ABOVE GRADE LEVEL GROUP: Students watch the Cnidarians movie. After watching the movie, students create a concept map using the Make a Map tool for Cnidarians capturing the following moments: Cnidarians CAN, HAVE, ARE. After viewing the movie and completing the concept map, students will read the activity page. Afterward, pose this challenge to students: "Tim and Moby have received the following question-What should I do if I am stung by a jellyfish?" Students create a storyboard using details from the Activity page.
  2. BELOW GRADE LEVEL GROUP: The teacher will create a concept map with students in the following order: (a) Pause the movie after the question is presented. Ask students to tell you what they know about jellyfish. Record their responses on the concept map. (b) Pause at :30 seconds and inform students to prepare to state what makes an organism a Cnidarian. On the concept map create a Cnidarians HAVE node. Ask students for suggestions, record. (c) Stop at 1:00 and introduce students to Cnidarians CAN and Cnidarians ARE. Record student suggestions. Rewind and Fast Forward as necessary. (d) Stop at 1:54 and fill in Concept Map where applicable. Ask this group to complete activity page in partnerships. As they work, check on the progress of Group 1. Upon your return, direct students to create a concentration game for the vocabulary words presented in the movie. One card will have a picture that represents the vocabulary word and the word. A matching card will have a definition in their own words. Students practice playing the concentration game.

Using the information BOTH groups gathered from the video, students will INVENT an cnidarian. (a) Students will sketch a picture of their cnidarian. (b) One a separate sheet of paper, students will outline the following characteristics of the cnidarian they invented:  name, habitat, adaptations to habitat, foods, predators, and defenses.