Our third grade class is kicking off 2022 with wonder. As we begin our expository nonfiction research unit, students are identifying topics of interest and brainstorming questions they would like to learn more about. From muscles to miniature pinschers to the universe, there are so many topics we’d like to explore. So where do we turn?
There are a number of resources for kids who are interested in doing research. Below are a few tools our teaching team is finding useful as we recommend sites to students.
Weird But True, Animals, and More: National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids is both a strong starting point for exploring a variety of topics and a great resource for diving deep once students have identified a specific area of interest. With kid-appropriate videos, compelling visuals, and accessible text, National Geographic Kids is a frequently used resource in our classroom.
Podcast: But Why
For students who like to listen and learn on the go, “But Why” is a podcast for curious kids. With 170 episodes and counting, “But Why” has episodes addressing a variety of questions, from “How deep is the ocean?” to “What are robots doing on Mars?” Other great curiosity podcasts for kids include Wow in the World and Brains On.
Online Dictionary for Kids: Kids Wordsmyth
As kids explore topics, they often come across words that aren’t defined in a glossary. Our district’s literacy coach recently suggested that our students bookmark a kid-friendly dictionary. This one also has a reverse search where kids can search key words from the definition when they can’t think of the word.
Daily Wonders & Articles: Wonderopolis
Wonderopolis is a hub for articles that answer kid’s questions about the world. For example, Wonder #917 asks “What is yoga?” while Wonder #2849 reads “Can you count the hairs on your head?”. Searching by a topic of interest will bring up all the articles Wonderopolis has featured on the subject. Searching “muscles” will bring up 107 results, from “What is the strongest muscle in the body?” to “Why do athletes stretch before they work out?”
Happy researching, wondering and exploring!