I am having trouble coming up with a research project for my fourth graders. There are 4 sections of each grade at my school- In 3rd half did bigrophies and half did animals or insects- I have looked into each and always feel it may be too redundant no matter which I choose. Last year was my first year and I used a project my colleague devloped on state parks that wasn't all that developed if you know what I mean. I have had some kids practically beg me to assign a reasearch project, which seems like a good problem to have, and we have time in social curriculum (although it is not required) Any thoughts or suggestion on something you've had success with?? Thanks!!!
I have my students make "Expert Books" for research. They pick a topic they want to know more about, and basically write a non-fiction book. I then bind it for them. It has all the features of non-fiction - table of contents, bibliography, index, glossary, etc. They love it!
My fourth grade class has done research on countries for the last two years, and have loved it. During shared reading a read books on different cultures and how kids live in other countries. Before that we used to research states. I asked the kids last year and this year which they think they would prefer, and they said that they really enjoyed researching countries.
We study the US regions and have covered the Northeast and Southeast. We don't have time to do all the rest, so I've assigned states across the US for students to research and then we will all share what we've learned.
The final project is a pop-up suitcase for their state. (I stole this from a teacher at my school.) Students think of objects that they should bring to their state. They create these in pop-up form in a paper suitcase made of construction paper. Next to each object, they write about why they are bringing that object. For example, one student made a juicer for Florida and wrote, "If your going to Florida, you might want to bring a juicer. Did you know that more than 90 percent of America's orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges. They produce the most grapefruits, too. The mild climate in Florida is just right for growing citrus." The students add a lot more info of course. The purpose is to focus on the economy, natural resource, geography, and climate.
Before doing this, they must do a lot of research. I have them create index cards and take notes on the region, economy, natural resources, climate, physical features, and famous landmarks. When done researching, they plan their projects. After approval from me, they make the suitcases. My students are sooo motivated and excited to do this!
Last edited by Cherrie28; 04-15-2008 at 05:04 PM..
Well, fourth grade Social Studies focuses on regions of the United States, so why don't you research states. Each child can get a state. In school you can work on the paper. Out of school they can make a float on a shoebox. This is the research project we are in the middle of right now. If you would like more information let me know.
Currently students in my class has selected a Famous North Carolinian (our state) and each of them becomes that person. They must do research, complete a brief biography, create a poster board using great imagination, and then present on the due date. Each student will come to school dressed as the person assigned speak in first person. It's great fun and they learn a lot, not only about the person they become, but state history as well.
For years our 4th graders did research projects on a state. They had to do a written report and a display. Then we had a "State Fair" day.
We invited parents, grandparents and other grades to come to our fair. It WAS a great project, but we can't do it any longer because now it doesn't fit our curriculum . Oh well......
In the past, my students have picked a Native American tribe to research. They had to write a paragraph on each of the following: food, shelter, natural resources in region, and one other of their choosing (games, costumes, etc.). The report was put on a poster that included a map of the USA on which they colored the area that their tribe lived in. We also made paper weavings, seed medallions and "deer footprints" for the NE tribes.
this year we are writing paragraphs on famous people and they aren't as involved as the classes who did the Native American tribes project were.
I am going to be having my students start a project similar to yours.....could you tell me how you did your rubric like what it was based upon? I am actually a new teacher and having a difficult time coming up with a rubric to a project like this. If you could let me know, that would be great!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org - it is the best way to let me know.
I loved this idea about a pop-up suitcase. I teach 4th grade in Fl and every year, 4th quarter they do a state report. We usually just put it in a binder, but I love the suitcase idea, can you elaborate? How did you make it?
I would look at your standards and go from there. What do your kids need to know in 4th grade?
For us, we do CA history in Soc. Studies. There are SOOOOO many research projects to go along with that (Missions, Gold Rush, etc...) We do the Native Americans in our region and immigration. I have done research projects on all of those.
In science, we do magnetism and electricity, rocks/sediment, and ecosystems. Research projects are abundant there as well.
Look in health, art, PE....all of those subjects will give you grade level specific ideas on what you can have your kids research.
I agree with StephR...take a look at your curriculum. All of the projects that we do in class are directly related to our science or social studies curriculum.
This year, we did 3 big research projects:
- choose a community member in medieval society, research his/her role and lifestyle, create a scroll to display the information and then give a first-person account of your life. This included costumes and props. Lots of fun!
- research a natural region of our country. We made mind maps for this research project.
- research a habitat (ie. desert, ocean, etc). This year, we just researched and made posters. Next year, I'd like to take it a step further and have them then design and make a model of a section for the zoo (we do a zoo field trip during this unit).