BrainPOP Recent Topic Roundup: April 2022
We’re stepping into spring with a review of BrainPOP topics published during the first quarter of 2022.
You’ll find over 900 topics on BrainPOP in all major subjects across the curriculum—and the Editorial Team is always hard at work creating new topics and updating existing ones. All BrainPOP content is designed to meet a wide range of standards, so teachers can always find relevant, engaging topics to support their lessons and drive learning outcomes. Here’s a look at what has been keeping us busy in recent months:
Commas: Meet the Punctuation Pros, who are here to school kids on all the rules of correct comma usage, so they can communicate clearly and effectively. The Pros will teach them how to avoid a slew of classic comma calamities!
Setting: From fairy tales to science fiction, every story has a setting: when it happens, where it takes place, and how long the action lasts. The setting “sets” the rules for a story, and works together with other story elements, like character, plot, and conflict, to communicate the story’s theme. Ready, set, setting!
Alice Ball: Until Alice Ball came along, doctors had little to offer people suffering from the disease known as leprosy. The chemist was just 23 years old when she began working on a leprosy treatment using chaulmoogra oil. Her tireless efforts paid off: Chaulmoogra became the first effective treatment for leprosy, and saved countless lives.
Puberty (update): During this transition from childhood to adulthood, people’s bodies grow in lots of unfamiliar ways. All of that change can cause emotions to run high, and life can get a little… awkward. Blame it on the hormones!
Rivers (update): Rivers are part of the water cycle, the continuous movement of water around the planet. They shape land through weathering and erosion, creating landforms like canyons. Rivers provide habitat for countless species, and they have a big impact on people, too.
Viruses (update): Viruses are the culprits behind the common cold, the flu, COVID-19, and all kinds of other illnesses. But making us sick isn’t their goal. Viruses are just a package of instructions for making copies of themselves, and they need the cells of other organisms to carry out their instructions. Fortunately, humans and other animals have immune systems—collections of cells specialized for stopping invaders.
Civil War Causes (update): What caused the United States of America to fight a war against itself? The first shots were fired by the Confederacy at Fort Sumter in 1861. But deep divides over slavery had caused tension from the nation’s very beginning. For nearly a century, the U.S. tried to remain one country with two different positions on slavery. As the country grew, so did the pressure to choose one way or the other: freedom or slavery. The election of President Abraham Lincoln sparked the South’s secession—and the bloodiest war in the nation’s history.
Haitian Revolution: In 1791, the enslaved people of the French colony of Saint-Domingue rose up to overthrow their oppressors and establish a free society. The rebel army defeated the mighty French empire, banned slavery, and established an independent country—the first Black nation in the western hemisphere.
Madam CJ Walker: In the early 1900s, a former cook and laundress built a beauty empire that’s still around today. Madam C.J. Walker was born just a few years after Emancipation, orphaned at age seven, and became a widowed mother by age 20. Misfortune opened the door to opportunity: When her hair started falling out, she not only found a cure, she started selling it—and went on to found her own incredibly successful company.
Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day may be all about love now, but its origins are quite different. The holiday is named for Valentine, a Christian priest in third century Rome who was martyred on February 14, then declared a saint. Traditions vary around the world, but in the U.S., celebrants often exchange chocolate and flowers. It’s nice to show appreciation for loved ones, if you’re into celebrating, but if it’s not your thing, that’s okay, too!
Zaha Hadid: The Iraqi-British architect created structures that seemed to defy gravity, and became classic examples of Deconstructivism. Nicknamed “the Queen of the Curve,” Hadid became the first woman to win architecture’s biggest award: the Pritzker Prize. For decades, Hadid’s fantastical designs were rejected as impossible to build, but she proved the critics wrong—and changed the shape of modern architecture!
Health & SEL
Paralympic Games: The Paralympics happen every two years, following the Olympics. Para athletes have a range of disabilities, and display their incredible talents in a range of sports. Meet two medal-winning members of the American team: cyclist Sam Bosco, and biathlete and cross-country skier Dan Cnossen, a retired lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy SEALs.
We’ll continue to share periodic updates on the blog, so keep an eye on this space for newly released topics.
Lindsey Palmer is a senior editor at BrainPOP.