Kids And Research Papers

Recently I assigned my kids a very simple research paper.  One that still allowed them plenty of imagination.  But, the concept behind this early elementary research paper is still sound.  Then I set about teaching how to write a research paper.

Assignment: Write an Egyptian myth in your own words.

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When creating a early elementary research paper, you need to set up clear expectations

I started out telling them what I expected in the final product (click on the picture above to get your own rubric).  Since this was for co-op I also created a very simple one for the older kids that had more information.  I did not want to set a number of sentences because I wanted them to write the amount needed for their story, not someone else’s story.


Work in short periods of time on your research paper, short attention spans

We worked for 30 minutes or less each time we worked on it over a period of several days.  Don’t expect your 8 year old to sit down for hours working on the project.


Underline important information for your research paper

Early elementary kids need lots of help seeing the information broken down.  If you are able to underline the information or highlight it.  If you can’t do that pick up some Highlighter Tape {affiliate link}, it’s great because it comes off very easily.


Start to organize your information and write your research paper.


At this point I’m going to suggest you read Simple Writing Lessons for Primary Grades, a series by This Reading Mama, because she’s done a great job of breaking down the steps super well.


From this point our process was fairly simple.  Write a rough draft, not worrying about spelling or anything.


Then we edited and added details, spelling, and the like.  Then made a final “pretty copy.”  Which the boys called a scary copy.


Practice your presentation

Presentation skills are important later in life, your kids will have presentations in almost every field they’re in.

Our presentation skills we worked on:

  1. Look the audience in the eye.
  2. Speak loudly enough to be heard
  3. Stand more or less still, it’s hard to follow someone bobbing around

For more writing ideas, check out my writing ideas pinterest board.

Filed Under: history, reading and writingTagged With: ancient Egypt, Mystery of History 1, writing

These research sites for student papers and reports offer kid-friendly search engines, examples, formats, and guidance to ease the writing process. They provide primary sources, tips on structuring the report, and ideas for choosing a topic. Most of them are designed especially for kids and teenagers, and my students have found them tremendously useful.

There is more to a kid's research project than looking up the biography of George Washington on Google or Wikipedia. Don't get me wrong. I don't know if I could survive without Google. And Wikipedia can be helpful for a general overview of a topic. But it is still hit-and-miss to find quality research resources on Google, especially for younger students with a limited vocabulary. (How many research articles have you "translated" for your elementary-age child?) And teachers do not consider Wikipedia to be an authoritative source, because most entries can be added or changed by anyone.

The search engines and research tools described below are ones I've used as a teacher and parent with my kids, in the classroom and at home. And parents, this is definitely for you too. Of course... you know your child's term paper or research paper is YOUR research project too!


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