Researching in the Primary Classroom

Our students are so lucky to be able to find many of the answers to their questions via a quick search of the Internet. With so much information available at their fingertips, students can search any topic at any time. This can be very powerful and so useful, but on many occasions our students are faced with an overwhelming number of search results, many of which aren’t relevant to their topic of research and their reading and comprehension abilities.

Search Engines

There are a many search engines that support students in finding relevant information for their topic of research and that provide results that our students can comprehend. The search engines I recommend for my students are;

Kidrex
www.kidrex.org
KidRex is a fun and safe search for kids, by kids! KidRex searches emphasise kid-related web pages from across the web that utilises Google’s SafeSearch technology.

Kiddle
www.kiddle.co
Kiddle is a safe visual search engine that searches for information, images, video, and news. All search results are returned with child friendly results appearing first. Kiddle includes an encyclopedia, Kpedia, with over 700,000 articles specific for children.

Junior Safe Search
www.juniorsafesearch.com
The Junior Safe Search mission is to provide a safe search for the learning minds of future generations! I like this search engine as it provides students with;
– Word of the Day
– Quote of the Day
– Today in History

DK Find Out
www.dkfindout.com
Not a search engine as such, but more of a informative website with a fantastic range of information on topics and content relevant to curriculum learning areas. It includes information as well as videos, quizzes, and fun facts.

Image Search

Students love to search the web for images they can use to support and showcase their learning in their digital creations. Unfortunately, many students, and teachers alike, use online images that they do not have the permission to do so. There are many sites that allow for the re-use of images, the two sites I recommend for my students are;

Photos For Class
www.photosforclass.com
Photos For Class only searches age appropriate images that are free to use. When students find the information that would like to use, they download it with the attribution of the image cited on the bottom of the image for them. Students under 13 can use Photos For Class with teacher supervision.

Pics4Learning
www.pics4learning.com
Pics4Learning is a curated image library that is safe and free for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and illustrations for classroom projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, or any other projects in an educational setting.

 

To ensure my students use these websites when conducting research, I have them add the links of each to the App home screen on their iPad or bookmark bar on their computers. If your school has an LMS or Dashboard, these links could be embedded here to be easily accessed.

Eleni Kyritsis is an award winning Year 3 Teacher and Leader of Curriculum & Innovation from Melbourne, Australia. Eleni facilitates professional learning workshops around the world that focus on unleashing creativity and curiosity in classrooms

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