BrainPOP Jr. is a subscription-based educational video, game, and activity site for kids in kindergarten through third grade. The main page is divided into math, language and reading, science, social studies, health, and arts and technology. First, kids choose one of the six main subjects. When they click the subject, it gets broken into more specific categories. Under each category, individual video topic pages appear.
Students can learn about everything from telling time, Internet safety, and ancient Rome to dental care and getting lice (what it's like, not how to get it!). Central to BrainPOP Jr. are the videos, which feature recurrent cartoon hosts. Another key feature is the video of the week that highlights a single topic.
Bold, colorful graphics and punchy music on BrainPOP Jr. should be inviting to young kids. Students should also relate well to the young animated hosts who speak directly to students. These characters use conversational and familiar language. And they use humor, which is sure to engage. With these characters as leaders, teachers may not have to do quite as much initial hand-holding as they would with other products. There's also excellent balance within any given video. Characters narrate what's happening, ask questions, and define terms that may be difficult to grasp. This varied approach to teaching will likely suit many different types of learners.
While the videos are the centerpiece, there are also tons of printable activities, games, and quizzes (easy or hard, printable or online) that help round out the experience. Furthermore, kids who struggle with reading can get added support, as videos and activities are audio- and visual-heavy. Overall, BrainPOP Jr. is worth the subscription fee. You can't beat high-quality educational videos, games, and activities coupled with your focused and supportive help.
Much of the curriculum-based content is aligned to state education standards. Teachers can search for specific videos and activities using the search tool, which categorizes content by subject, grade, and state standard. You can also find lesson plans, an ideas blog, and other supports on the BrainPOP Educators page.
Short films are a terrific introduction to any topic. Use the videos to spark kids' interest on a new topic or to reinforce what they've already learned in class. You could even have students make their own short films on one of the topics they've explored or connect video content to other non-digital activities. For instance, have them watch the video about the water cycle, then follow it up with related games or outdoor activities that relate.