BrainPop is a virtual learning environment with over 700 ready-made, digitally-animated clips on all subject areas for all grade levels. You can search the site by skill, concept, or Common Core standards. The site is even divided into two sections–BrainPop (grades 4-12) and BrainPop Jr. (grades K-3), allowing for more specific skill focus appropriate for the different grade levels.

Brain PopBrain Pop Jr.

Many of the animated videos, corresponding quizzes, and games can be viewed for free. But, if you pay for an individual classroom or school subscription, you can access all of them–more than 700 digitally-animated videos on hundreds of concepts and skills!

There are numerous applications for such BrainPop videos:

  1. Content-area teachers will love this additional tool as part of their whole-class instruction. These short videos (2-5 minutes long) are a powerful way to hook your students at the beginning of a new unit while also building background knowledge on a concept. Or, follow a lesson study with a related video as a means of reviewing content and solidifying understanding.
  2. Use the related app with your students’ iPads. Whether in elementary school, middle school, or high school, students can use the BrainPop app for research on a specific topic or for review of a certain content area. (Note: You could also teach students to script and create their own BrainPop clip.)
  3. Elementary teachers can implement the BrainPop app within small-group instruction. Select students who need reinforcement on a particular standard. Then, using an iPad, show the desired clip, pausing periodically for further reinforcement. Do the follow-up quiz together as a small group, discussing the validity of responses. NOTE: Some inclusion teachers are using the BrainPop app with special needs students for differentiated instruction in the classroom as well. In addition, high-ability students can have enrichment of grade-level standards and beyond.
  4. BrainPop Educator provides lesson plan ideas for implementation.
  5. Utilize the Game Up section, which links to educational games that require higher order thinking skills.
  6. For teachers utilizing ACUITY assessments, subscribing to BrainPop is especially powerful. The recently-announced partnership between ACUITY and BrainPop now allows teachers to assign BrainPop movies as tutorials. Once the student views the movie, they will be directed to a corresponding quiz. The results of the assessment are tracked within ACUITY as an additional source of data. Students can even be automatically reassigned the BrainPop clip based on your desired percentage of mastery. (For more information, view this previously recorded and free webinar to learn more about the BrainPop and ACUITY partnership. NOTE: You do not have to be utilizing ACUITY to take advantage of the after-viewing quizzes.)
  7. In addition to these uses, the BrainPop website offers its own suggestions for implementation. Read through these ideas for the BrainPop classroom, the BrainPop Jr. classroom, and ways to utilize BrainPop at home.

Teachers will find BrainPop to be a powerful instructional tool. Students will find it both entertaining and engaging.

For more technology tools and resources follow Nadine Gilkison (Smekens Education Digital Resource Designer) on or @nadinegilkison on Twitter.

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