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July, 2010:

Learning from Play

My grandson and I were playing on my new iPad the other day and we tried out the BrainPOP app for the iPad. I had looked at BrainPOP some time ago, but since it was for younger students I didn’t pay too much attention to it. As I played along with my nine-year-old grandson, I realized some of the featured movie potential.

Each day BrainPOP has a featured movie. The movies are available on the web at: http://www.brainpop.com/. You can even embed the movie in your blog, wiki, or website as I have done at: http://www.anewadventure.org/?page_id=366.

The movies of the day topics vary from the arts, science, history, economics and others. After you watch the movie you can take a ten-question quiz. I couldn’t help but think these would make great warm-up activities for upper elementary and middle schools. In Michigan we have our state test in October, and the movies would be a good way to review test-taking skills.

The questions usually contain the follow:

  • Defining a word by how it is used in the context of a sentence
  • Identifying if a sentence is fact or opinion
  • Facts on the topic of the day

I would use it with my class to look at all the multiple-choice answers and have students tell:

  • why some choices were wrong.
  • why some answers might be right.
  • what they think is the right answer

Not only would they review test-taking skills but the students would also have the opportunity to review the content areas. Try it and let me know what you think.

Jim