Friday, February 1, 2013

BrainPop- Chinese

BrainPop- 中國

If you've ever seen BrainPop, you know how great it is and it needs no more introduction.

But if you are new to the experience, this is what you should know.  BrainPop presents topics on Math, Science, Social Studies, English, Technology, Arts & Music, and Health in 5 minute videos.  The movies give an overview of a topic and can be used in the classroom as a starting point for more in-depth discussion.  In fact, thousands of schools all over the world subscribe to BrainPop and use the videos in the classroom.  BrainPop is aimed to teach kids in grades 3 and up (or about 8 years old and up)

Now, BrainPop is available in Mandarin!  This is a great resource to students learning Chinese, at any level.  The first reason why I would recommend using this app is that it gives the Chinese language student a chance to listen to nonfiction material.  Often textbooks provide stories to engage young readers.  Here is your opportunity to expand a learner's abilities with comprehending nonfiction.  This is a valuable tool if your learner is planning on using Chinese to read a newspaper, listen to the news, or study immersed in the Chinese language.  BrainPop includes a quiz that you can use to asses a learner's comprehension.

To help you navigate:  BrainPop is color-coded.  Green represents Science, Red is for Social Studies, Yellow is Literature/English, Purple is for Math, Blue contains Engineering & Technology videos, Orange teaches about Health topics, and Brown is for Arts & Music.

There are several free videos available which you can browse whenever you like.  However, if you like you can subscribe to BrainPop (there are several different BrainPops such as BrainPop, BrainPop ESL, BrainPop, Jr., and BrianPop- 中國 so be sure to subscribe to the correct one).  Subscribing will allow you to access all the videos and the accompanying materials.

Ideas for how to use BrainPop-中國
Beginners- Teach target vocabulary before viewing the movie.  When watching the movie, ask learners to raise their hand whenever they hear the target vocabulary.  For example, teach the word (qì'é, penguin), then watch the Science movie about penguins and each time a learner hears the word 企鵝, then s/he should raise his/her hand.
Intermediate- Preview the quiz questions in English, then watch the movie in Chinese.  Take the quiz in Chinese.  This helps students know what information to listen for.
Advanced- Have a discussion (in Chinese) about the topic before watching the movie.  Preview the quiz questions in Chinese and then watch the movie in Chinese.  Answer the questions in the quiz to assess comprehension and facilitate discussion.

Contact BrainPop
If you are interested in this program, but are finding it difficult to navigate a website only in Chinese, I encourage you to leave a message for the creators on their Facebook page (  This is a wonderful resource and it would be wonderful if the website could be translated in order to be more accessible to English speakers interested in learning Chinese.


  1. How do I get access to Brainpop in chinese??? I tried registering but it doesn't give option if you live outside of china.

  2. I apologize; it looks as though BrainPop Chinese has redesigned its website and no longer is offering any free videos. I suggest getting in touch with the makers of BrainPop and telling them that you are interested in viewing it in America. The more of us that show a need for access to Chinese materials in America, the more companies will provide!

  3. Matthew, BrainPop is a subscription-based service. If you want full access to the website and videos, you will need to subscribe. I've recently left a message for them on their Facebook page asking them to make the website more accessible to English speakers who want to subscribe to the Chinese-language videos. I encourage you to let them know that this is something you would be interested in also. Their Facebook page is