BrainPOP Recent Topic Roundup: July 2022
It’s summertime, and we’re taking a moment to reflect on a productive school year! Here are all the new BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. topics published since April.
You’ll find over 1,200 topics on BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. 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:
New on BrainPOP
Characterization: Writers use characterization to bring characters to life: describing what they look and act like, their identity and personality, and other traits. Direct characterization tells us who a character is, whereas indirect characterization shows us through the character’s thoughts, hopes, and effect on others. Character is one of several story elements (including setting, plot, and conflict) that work together to communicate the theme.
Library Organization: Every library book has a call number, which tells you where it belongs on the shelves. Fiction books are shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name. Non-fiction books are arranged by subject, in most cases according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. There are 10 main categories, or classes, which are divided into 10 divisions, which are further divided into 10 sections. But kids don’t need to remember all that: To find a book’s call number, they can use a card catalog—or ask a librarian!
Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes (update): A simple way to learn the meaning of new words is to break them down into their parts, then define the parts. The main part of a word is the root, and prefixes and suffixes both modify the root, changing its meaning. Common prefixes, such as “un-,” “non-,” and “pre-” come before the root; and common suffixes, such as “-less,” “-ful,” and “-able” come after the root. Lots of word parts come from Latin and Greek. Introduce kids to a bunch of ’em, and watch them expand their vocabulary!
Text Structures: Informational texts are a type of nonfiction intended to inform the reader about a topic. There are five types: description texts, problem and solution texts, cause and effect texts, compare and contrast texts, and sequence texts. Identifying the structure can make it easier for kids to understand, and help them retain the information.
Flu (update): Having the flu means coughing, sneezing, body aches, and fever. The culprit is the influenza virus, which infects our cells and replicates. Fortunately, our immune system can fight off the virus. It builds antibodies—special substances that target the influenza virus, and help destroy it. But that takes time, so flu shots can give us a head start. Still, the flu virus keeps mutating, which is why one year’s flu shot doesn’t protect from next year’s flu. Fortunately, scientists around the world join forces in the fight against the flu. They identify the latest flu strains and develop new flu shots every year to keep us healthy.
Skeleton (update): Everyone has a skeleton. Many of our bones support our bodies as we get up and move around. Others protect our organs. Each bone in our skeleton plays a role in keeping our body running smoothly. Introduce kids to how our skeleton works.
Japanese-American Incarceration: During WWII, the United States sent more than 110,000 Japanese Americans to prison camps without charges or trial. After Japan bombed a navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the U.S. entered WWII on the side of the Allies. But the attack also sparked a wave of anti-Japanese hysteria and suspicion. In early 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, convinced that Japanese Americans were a national security risk, signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing mass removal of people from military areas. By year’s end, every Japanese American on the West Coast was behind barbed wire. Despite harsh conditions, people found ways to build community, and many resisted their imprisonment. A Supreme Court case brought by Mitsuye Endo kickstarted the closing of the camps and the end of this chapter of historic violation of American civil liberties.
Navajo Code Talkers: In World War II, the U.S. Marines had a secret weapon: an unbreakable code that allowed instant, secure communication in the midst of battle. It was the language skills, creativity, and memories of 29 Navajo recruits, who became known as the Navajo Code Talkers. As children, most of the code talkers had been sent to Indian boarding schools, where they were forced to adopt American culture, and punished for speaking Navajo. But it didn’t work. They held on to their culture and their language, and went on to help the Allies win the war!
New on BrainPOP Jr.
Reading and Writing
Author’s Purpose: Hungry for the author’s purpose? Just remember PIE: Persuade, inform, and entertain! In this movie, Annie and Moby explore how writers inform, persuade, or entertain the reader. Teach kids how authors can change your mind, teach you something, or spark interest and joy—just through the power of words.
Allen Say: What would it be like to move to a different country and explore a new culture? Allen Say explores this question in many of his books! In this movie, Annie and Moby explore the life and work of this Japanese-American author and cartoonist. Discover how Say explores the theme of appreciating different cultures in his books.
Plane Shapes (update): Time to get into shape! In this movie, kids will learn about plane shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. How many angles does a triangle have? How are a rectangle and square alike and different? Explore the movie to find out. This delightful topic was updated to further align with math standards.
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.