Ideas for Using BrainPOP Jr. to Teach Literacy

Whether you call it reading and writing, English Language Arts (ELA), or literacy, BrainPOP Jr. can help you teach and reinforce hundreds of key skills in reading comprehension, language, phonics, and writing! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Use the interactive BrainPOP Jr features as a reading center. Project the related movie topic’s Game, Draw About It, and/or Talk About It on your interactive whiteboard and have students work independently or cooperatively to complete the activities. If you don’t have an interactive whiteboard, students can explore the activities on your classroom computers.

Use the paper-based BrainPOP Jr. features as a reading center. Print out the Activity and the Talk About It features related to the movie topic and have students complete them in ELA centers or stations.

Use the graphic organizers to help students with comprehension. You may want to draw a graphic organizer on the board (or open a new tab in your browser window and type into the graphic organizer there).  Add details as you watch the movie together. The Talk About It feature provides a discussion prompt and a graphic organizer that students can do with partners or as a whole class. Additional graphic organizers are available in BrainPOP Educators. The Print Notebook button allows you to print all the notebook questions that appear in the movie. You may wish to print them out in advance and give them to students so they can take notes as they watch.

Use the word wall to reinforce reading skills. Each movie has a Word Wall that contains five key words and their student-friendly definitions. You can print the Word Wall out and make copies for students to keep in their notebooks. You can also add these words to your own class word wall. The Big Word Wall on the homepage keeps track of all the vocabulary words that appear in the movies.

Use the Read About It feature to integrate BrainPOP Jr. and read-alouds. The Read About It feature has suggested children’s books that relate to each movie. You can check these out from your school or community library and encourage students to make connections and comparisons between what they’ve read and what they learned in the movie. You can also click the printer icon and select “Save as PDF” from your printing options. Share the PDF with students and their families by uploading it to your class blog or attaching it to an email, and encourage students to visit their local library to check out our book recommendations.

Use the Belly Up comic to teaching reading and writing skills. Print out the Belly Up related to the movie you’re watching, and white out the speech bubbles. Invite students to write in their own interpretations of what’s being said and practice dialogue, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and more. You can also print out a blank 2 panel or 4 panel Belly Up comic in BrainPOP Educator’s graphic organizers section.