BrainPOP is a highly-functional educational tool for students, parents and teachers alike, as it offers curriculum-based learning strategies in-line with state educational standards. The website provides helpful animated videos about many topics children will encounter in school; from the civil war, to writing a five paragraph essay, algebra, and even the process of photosynthesis. The site is divided into Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Tech, Health, and Arts & Music categories – ensuring users become well-rounded, multi-faceted, enthusiastic learners across a broad spectrum of subjects, utilizing the engaging, interactive web material to better convey content. Users can take quizzes to track their understanding and use material like lists and graphic organizers to supplement their homework. They can even play educational games across various subjects in the site’s GameUp section. Subsidiary sites include; BrainPOP Jr., for younger users, and BrainPOP Espanol, for native Spanish speakers, and BrainPOP ESL for English language learners. A mobile app is also available, allowing users to take BrainPOP’s video content on-the-go. While BrainPOP is best used for children aged 8 and older, the service’s sister site, BrainPOP Jr., is offers content geared towards younger age brackets.
There is an abundance of different subject areas featured on BrainPop’s website. This offers users a way to explore a variety of topics very easily. Say users click on the subject science, then a sub-category, like space. They will then have access to instructional videos, interactive assignments, and even corresponding games about asteroids, black holes, and much more. Users should become familiar with all of the site’s forms of content, as they will have to adopt multiple learning strategies to best synthesize the material. For example, users will have to absorb lessons from the videos and apply them to quizzes and activities, while playing games can serve as a fun way to drive the basic tenants of a lesson home. The multi-media learning tools BrainPOP provides help users shift their approach to learning, utilizing different learning strategies across a wide range of material.
Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Users are able to track their progress with BrainPop’s quizzes. Users who understand their weaknesses as learners are better suited to remedy them. Videos should be carefully selected, and should either relate to what users are learning in the classroom, or focus on an area of concern, allowing mindful and frequent BrainPop users will be well-prepared for upcoming lessons and exams. Users must judge their own performance on quizzes, and determine what subjects require extra reinforcement. Continued use in this manner can help users make significant gains in their ability to engage in metacognition, or the way they “think about their own thinking,” a very valuable tool for young leanrers.
Although BrainPop is a highly visual and interactive service, the “English” section provides users with concepts, strategies, and techniques to make them more confident readers. From improving comprehension to understanding mood and tone, BrainPop’s reading-specific videos and activities make it a great alternative for new or struggling readers to iron out their inconsistencies, and even bolster their vocabulary. For younger users who are unaccustomed to reading, BrainPop Jr. can be helpful. Here, when users move their cursor over a certain parts of the site, an automated voice identifies the highlighted word, helping with both comprehension and vocabulary.
A robust Writing section accompanies BrainPop’s English subject guide, with a myriad of lessons, activities, and videos to make users more informed writers. Lessons on book reports and five paragraph essays help users adhere to guidelines, while the poetry and imagination tabs aid users in utilizing more free-form writing strategies. Categories, like plagiarism and citing sources are lessons worthwhile for more advanced students, as they will undoubtedly be using multiple references and sources when writing research papers for school.
One of BrainPOP’s most comprehensive educational tools is the section devoted to mathematics. Available are a multitude of simple and advanced math concepts - and there are hundreds of different instructional videos available. Accompanying the videos are examples, definitions, and introductory material, allowing users to become even more familiar with the subject areas. It is a good idea for users to sign in to BrainPOP over the weekend to prepare for upcoming lessons, and practice older material that will likely show up on midterm and final exams. Older students who are preparing for SAT standardized tests may want to use BrainPOP to reacquaint themselves with mathematical material, both to refresh on older lessons and to drive home more advanced, challenging material.
BrainPOP's Science catalogue features topics from genetics to the solar system. There is certainly enough content on the site to mirror what users are studying in school. Interactive lessons and games make absorbing new information hardly as draining as writing a lab report. The colorful presentation and cartoonish images can BrainPOP's Science page an attractive teaching tool for younger students, while its extensive content can serve more advanced students, as well. Users can learn through videos, be monitored by assessments, and then rewarded with interactive games - all of which are educational.
An equally robust Social Studies page has a host of content. Whether users are studying economics, US history, world history, or anthropology, BrainPOP's vast archive of educational material will likely suit their needs. The provided videos are especially helpful, as they allow users to put historical events like wars, treaties, and revolutions into the context. Visual supplements like these are a great asset to any history lesson, because they can enliven and reinvigorate the study of related material in class, making distant times and cultures seem more immediate. BrainPOP's Social Studies tab helps complement subjects users are learning in the classroom through content-related games, quizzes, videos, and more hands-on activities.
BrainPOP is packed with functionality and options for helping your child improve Flexibility and Self-Awareness, as well as various academic skills. The site is bursting with a wide range of useful activities -- many more than we could catalog here -- so below you'll find some recommendations to help you get started. Make sure to share your favorite activities in the comment field at the bottom of the page!
What makes BrainPOP different from learning in the traditional school environment (other than the obvious fact that it is web-based) is way in which your child can learn at his own pace. Your child may find some lessons to be more tasking than others: punctuation more difficult than long division, for example. Encourage your child to work slowly through challenging material, assuring him there is no rush. However, it is important to expose your child to all the aspects of BrainPOP’s website. His learning should not be limited to watching videos; instead, allow him to play some of Brain POP’s education games on related topics. BrainPOP features a "GameUp" component to their website, where your child can play thought-provoking, subject-specific games. Experiment with your child to expose him to the variety of ways he can learn about a given subject. Be sure to split your child’s time between video, games, and more application-based learning techniques. After a video about colons and semicolons, for instance, allow your child to write an original sentence with proper usage. Introducing constant transitions to new learning environments will help your child to be a more flexible thinker.
After each video be sure to have your child take some form of assessment. Assessments are important for him to understand how well he retained learned material. With your child, determine the way he learns best. Is he a visual learner? Does he respond well to rote memory activates? Or is he more hands-on? Depending of the nature of his ability to absorb material, introduce a learning strategy that reflects your child's learning habits. Videos and interactive media mesh well with visual learners. For children who learn best when they apply their learning to a hands-on assessment, encourage them to make a poster board, or represent what they learned using crafts. Games are particularly good for engaging children with content. With your child, go to “Game Up” section to explore more interactive ways of reinforcing video material. Results and immediate feedback are imperative if your child is to develop acute self-assessment skills. Seek to understand not just the type of learner that he is, but also the pace in which he learns. In a fun and absorbing environment like BrainPOP, your child can reflect on these points, using provided assessments to track his progress.
BrainPOP features frequently updated blog articles for both you and your child to peruse. The blog is only part of BrainPOP’s multifaceted approach to teaching reading. Click on the “reading” tab with your child. In the tab highlight a subcategory that relates to a topic your child is learning in class. For example, if your child is reading a Shakespeare play, click on the “Famous Books and Authors,” tab, in which your child will find content specifically related to The Bard. The themed animation videos help to shed light on the biography of Shakespeare, allowing readers to see his plays in a more historical context. Contextualizing Shakespeare's work will help your child wrap his head around the language that is often difficult for 21st century readers to completely understand.
With your child, click on the “writing” tab, then on the “main idea” subcategory. Help make your child a stronger writer by exposing him to BrainPOP’s activities for constructing stronger sentences and paragraphs. Your child will learn about how a main idea must have a subject, as well as descriptive points. Once your child has watched the video, click on the “activities” link, which will bring up a short Q&A, including a passage, followed by 5 comprehension questions. While the activity may seem geared toward reading comprehension, your child will be analyzing topic sentence skills that can help to make him a stronger writer. In the same link, there will be an option for a graphic organizer, and an inverted pyramid that your child can use when creating his own sentences or paragraphs. After studying it together, encourage him to write a short paragraph about something he enjoys using the inverted pyramid method.
Talk to your child about what he is studying in his math class, and then use BrainPOP to supplement class content. For example, if your child is learning about solving for variables in equations, click the “math” tab, then the subheading “equations with variables.” Once your child watches the short video, test what he learned by asking him the four questions on the sidebar that accompany the video (the answers are provided). Assuming he does well, move on to the activities page, where your child can apply what he learned by answering a few sample questions. BrainPOP’s math page is arguably their most content-heavy part of the site, so encourage your child to get ahead by practicing next chapter’s problems, or prepare early over the summer for a new school year. To make math more fun, introduce your child to applicable math games in GameUp. "Battleship Numberline" aids your child in plotting points on a graph, while "Treefrog Treasure" introduces fractions and patterns. There are currently over 20 different games that introduce a variety of math topics. Even for older students, whimsical math games help to keep the mind sharp.
The best way for you and your child to practice Science is to play the games. While the lessons are important, Science, by nature, is a hands-on subject. It is an area of study in which there is constant trial-and-error, discovery and failure, epiphany and dead-end. The game, "Guts and Bolts," will help your child grasp how the systems of the human body function. He will have to connect pipes to allow blood cells, fresh oxygen, and waste pass through the intestines, lungs, and heart so all systems work together. Your child will have to engage with some trial-and-error to learn the systems, as each valve and pipe generates a specific outcome.
With your child, click on the Social Studies tab, and match the history category that best corresponds to his grade level. Then choose a more specific subject area that relates to what he is learning in class. If your child is learning about geography - an important part of any elementary curricula, highlight the geography page. It is a good idea to begin with the "Geography Themes" activity, which will help your child understand the importance geography, as well as learn geographical concepts that may not come up in class discussion. Once your child watches the video, advise him to go to the "activities" page, where he will be promoted to make a graphic organizer in the form a travel brochure for his hometown. He will begin to get a sense of how a place is defined - an important step in understanding the basic tenants of the subject.
Children with ADHD sometimes struggle with focus and attention-based activities – especially lectures and lessons in school. The passive manner in which some children with ADHD absorb new material can make it hard for them to concentrate and follow directions - resulting in lower scores on tests and quizzes due to an inability to retain information. The nature of the learning disability makes it hard for these children to concentrate and focus on what is important. BrainPOP keeps children with ADHD engaged with short videos, quick assessments and games. The site is highly interactive and perfect for children who do not thrive in the traditional classroom setting.
How to Use BrainPOP for Children with ADHD
BrainPOP offers a unique approach to learning that incorporates a variety of interactive media, but its not the only web-based resource for learning. Check out our suggested picks below, and be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments.
Kidspiration is a child-friendly version of the popular Inspiration software, which allows users to visually display and organize thoughts and ideas across various academic disciplines. Our Kidspiration review has the details.
Math.com offers similar guidance and practice as Rick’s Math, and includes lesson plans, parent resources, as well as math games. Read more in our Math.com review.
Rick’s Math offers quick tips, practice problems, and extra explanations that can be beneficial for all levels of math students. Check out our Rick’s Math review for details.
Khan Academy is an online library of videos for learning and practicing academic concepts. Users can search by keyword, and are then able to choose from a variety of leveled videos related to that term. Find out more in our Khan Academy review.
All membership plans come with full access to our entire suite of tools learning guides, and resources. Here are a few of the ones we think you’ll like the most: