Research & Writing Lesson Plan: Write Your Own BrainPOP Script

Submitted by: Angela Watson

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

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students research various BrainPOP resources and synthesize information about a given topic. Students then work collaboratively to compose an original BrainPOP-style script using key vocabulary terms and digital tools.

Students will:

  1. Synthesize information about a given topic to compose an original script using key vocabulary terms.

Materials:

  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Computers for students to use while researching and composing their scripts

Vocabulary:

Varies depending on the script topic

Preparation:

This lesson can be used to reinforce information on any curriculum topic or skill that students are studying. It's especially useful for helping students understand and explain difficult or abstract concepts.

Use this lesson after students have read a play or had other exposure to scripts. Be sure they understand the basic format of a script and how to write simple staging/animation directions.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Build student background knowledge about the topic you're studying using your curricular resources and supplementary texts and websites, including BrainPOP. Be certain that students have a solid understanding of the topic before having them write their own scripts. Students should also be familiar with the basic format of BrainPOP movies and the characters involved.
  2. Tell students they're going to write their own BrainPOP script. Provide (or help students create) their movie's question for Tim and Moby.
  3. Have students brainstorm a list of important vocabulary words for the topic you're studying. Use the Vocabulary Activity page for the related movie as a springboard for discussion. Ask students to vote on the ten most important vocabulary terms that they think the class should include in their movie scripts.
  4. Review the basic format of BrainPOP movies. Guide students to recall that each movie starts by showing a user-submitted question which Tim and Moby try to answer. Explain that most BrainPOP movies are about 2-5 minutes long, so their script, when read aloud, should create a 2-5 minute movie.
  5. Have pairs or groups of students work together to compose their scripts using paper or digital tools. They may watch to reference various BrainPOP movies to help them with script formatting.
  6. Reinforce editing and revising skills by having students exchange their scripts with another group and provide feedback through a peer conference.
  7. Allow each group to read their scripts aloud to another group, or explore some of the optional activities below.

Extension Activity:

Have students create a story board to go with their script. The story board should include drawings of what happens in each scene in the movie. Students can use digital tools to create their storyboard or even to create their movie! Another option is to have students act out their scripts themselves and record it. These videos can be posted to a class blog or even YouTube. Email us the link and share what your students have created!