How I Use It
Brain POP Jr is a fantastic teaching tool. I have used it both to introduce topics, as well as to review them or provide more background knowledge. After introducing the topic with the movie, I would introduce the students to the additional activities that went along with that topic. For example, after viewing the Temperature video whole group, I would show the students the available activities that they could do at the technology center. Each topic always has both an easy and hard quiz that can be taken either online or printed. In addition. there is a related temperature question with a graphic organizer for further exploration. Each lesson also has a comic related to the theme, a word wall with related words, a joke, as well as further ideas about temperature they can read and write about. If that wasn't enough, there are also additional lesson plans available. Students enjoyed the thematic approach that Brain POP Jr uses to integrate science and literacy.
I have used Brain POP Jr for over ten years and I am amazed at how the site continues to grow and reflect what teachers need. The Science section alone now offers 57 movies! The movie characters hold the student's attention and thought provoking essential questions are used and typed on the margins of the movie, as well as spoken. The questions drive the instruction of the movie. The movies are direct and to the point and often are 3-4 minutes in length. I especially enjoyed the flexibility the site offers and the vast amount of related resources. I also used it to empower my students to research topics that were of interest to them that we hadn't studied yet. I would love to see the suggestions of books Brain POP Jr recommends available to be read online, instead of checked out at the library. It is a paid subscription, but valuable in so many ways to all of the topics we teach.