One small step for a Moby...

 

…one giant leap for learning!

The world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of humankind’s most awesome achievements: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins landing on the moon.

BrainPOPpers, as you may have noticed, are huge space nerds and we have a solar system’s worth of space resources from galaxies to asteroids to aliens.

But the Moon landings and Apollo missions are something special. That famous step seems epic and yet intimate. 530 million people watched, enraptured, at the time and it continues to fascinate us to this day.

But there’s a world of politics, history, and science that led to that step, and beyond, into space.

So we dug into BrainPOP’s topics to help you provide a broader context to the ‘space race’ and how (and why) America put three brave men onto another planet for the first time.

Apollo Project

Find out how it all happened in this BrainPOP movie, as Tim and Moby introduce you to NASA’s famous Apollo Project. Discover what--and who!--prompted the project, and learn why putting a person on the moon was so important. You’ll find out when the goal was achieved, and about the complicated spacecraft that got the men safely to the moon and back. You’ll also hear about a few missions that didn’t turn out so well, and discover why the program ended.

Cold War

To fully understand why we went to the Moon, it’s worth taking a look at the geopolitical landscape of the time. Find out how the Cold War led to a major U.S. political policy called containment; the building of the Berlin Wall in Germany; and the “space race,” which greatly advanced human presence in outer space.

John F. Kennedy (JFK)

 
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
— JFK, Houston on Sept. 12, 1962
 

John F. Kennedy, the President at the time, was the man who considered winning the space race as key to keeping the United States ahead of the Soviet Union. Learn about the ups and downs of his presidency, from the disaster that was the Bay of Pigs invasion, to his strategic triumph over the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Moon

Of course, knowing about the destination might help! Discover what’s on the surface of the moon and learn more about the various historic missions to the moon.

Space Flight

Explore the history and future of space flight! Get a brief lesson on the physical forces that send spacecraft zooming into space and learn some of the main concepts of rocketry, including the all-important force called thrust.

 

Inspirational women on BrainPOP

 
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Today is International Women's Day 2018, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

There are many topics in BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. that feature women who through their work, ideals, and actions have changed the world in so many different ways.

I wanted to share a selection from across the curriculum, and highlight their inspirational stories.

Start your journey with our topics 'Women's Suffrage' and 'Feminism', both good top level subjects that open up discussion about the historical journey of women's rights.

Social Studies, Activism, and Politics

Wangari Maathai

Be motivated by three very different female activists who progressed their causes in the face of great adversity and risk.

  • Rosa Parks, an activist in the Civil Rights Movement, and "the first lady of civil rights".
  • Helen Keller, the first deaf and blind person to ever graduate from college, and how she became a living symbol of the human spirit’s triumph over adversity.
  • Wangari Maathai, who used her knowledge as a trained botanist and her passion for women’s rights and environmental conservation to effect positive change in Kenya.

Women in power

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Begin with story of the last queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, whose downfall led directly to the establishment of the Roman Empire.

Then introduce your students to Queen Elizabeth I, the storied queen of 16th Century renaissance England, before learning about her contemporary, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Maths, Science, and Technology

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Historically women have been poorly represented in STEM, but that started to change in the 19th century, notably with the achievements of the world’s first computer programmers, Ada Lovelace.

You must meet Marie Curie, one of the great minds of the chemistry world, and then explore the work of Jane Goodall, the remarkable primatologist and anthropologist.

And finally take a trip into space with Sally Ride, the world's first female astronaut. who broke the gender barrier for a new generation of space scientists.

Literacy

Reading Emily Dickinson

Solve mysteries with Agatha Christie, one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century and the bestselling fiction writer of all time.

For the poets among you discover the life of the celebrated poet Emily Dickinson and explore one of her groundbreaking poems. "A Bird came down the Walk".

And don't forget Maya Angelou, brilliant poet, respected actor, devoted activist, beloved professor, and most well known for her best-selling memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

The Arts and Media

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Journey to Mexico to learn about the life and art of Frida Kahlo, a master of self-portraits, before looking at the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated and influential American artists Georgia O'Keefe.

Finally, are you ready for an audience with the queen of a media empire, Oprah Winfrey?

Inspirational young women

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I couldn't finish this post without spotlighting some amazing girls and young women who made their mark on the world. Like Anne Frank, the famous diarist who's words survived to tell her tragic story.

Your heart will swell with pride at Ruby Bridges' (BrainPOP Jr.) story of determination to get the best education she could in a segregated America.

Every young person should listen to Malala's astonishing story of her fight for a better education, and how she became youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Extras!

 

Explore a Topic – Maya Civilisation

 

Since the Maya Civilisation was added to the Key Stage 2 history programmes of study for the 2014 National curriculum in England to teach “a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history”, we often hear…

  • How difficult it is to source good age appropriate educational resources about the Mayan Civilisation
  • That primary school teachers generally have little to no knowledge of this period of history

This isn’t too surprising considering the previous history curriculum have focused on Egypt and Aztecs. But Tim and Moby to the rescue!

We’ve got plenty of amazing resources on the Mayans. Their culture, their advances in architecture, maths, art, and astronomy are all covered. Topic resources includes:

  1. An animated video on the Mayan Civilisation
  2. An interactive multiple choice quiz
  3. Maya lesson ideas
  4. Maya (and other ancient civilisations) learning games
  5. Maya activities, graphic organiser

Use these resources to introduce the Maya Civilisation, then encourage your pupils to explore further into this fascinating period of history with our topics on MesoamericaInca CivilisationConquistadors, and Aztec civilisation.

  • Tim and Moby explore this highly advanced pre-Columbian culture.
  • Learn why the Maya civilisation wasn’t exactly an empire, but still constituted a unified culture.
  • Explore the Maya script, the only complete written language developed by indigenous Americans and the role of religion in Maya society.
  • Discover how the Mayas were slowly subdued by the Spanish empire, and how Mayan is still spoken in Mexico and parts of Central America today!

Time Zone X - Maya Civilisation

Develop an understanding of the rise and fall of the Mayan civilization with our Time Zone X: Maya learning game. Do well and students can start to combine historical facts other ancient civilisations!

LESSON IDEA ON MAYA CIVILISATION

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for years 3-12 and P3-S5, students will use BrainPOP resources to analyse a world history topic through the lens of an essential question; Conduct collaborative research and share findings both verbally and in writing.

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for Years 7-13 and S1 – S6, students use BrainPOP UK resources to learn and synthesise information about the ancient civilisations of Latin America. They will create a three circle Venn diagram to compare and contrast the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilisations. Students will also design a “graffiti board” on which they write messages and draw pictures to illustrate their understanding.

FYI – NON-FICTION TEXTS ABOUT MAYA CIVILISATION

  • The Final Frontier – Learn about the Mayan’s views on astronomy
  • Sports – Read about ‘Pitz’, the Mayan’s favourite ball game
  • Etc – Cool facts about Mayan culture
  • Unsolved mysteries – What happened to the Maya?
  • Dates and Times – Learn about the famous Mayan calendars
  • In Practice – Study Mayan fashion

PUPIL ACTIVITIES FOR MAYAN CIVILISATION

  • Activity – Complete the story
  • Graphic organiser – 5Ws + H chart
  • Vocabulary sheet – A list of terms that need explaining in your own words