Animal Research Using a Database

I wanted my 2nd graders to start using a database and I have a subscription to World Book Online, which is a great tool, so I came up with this lesson. I use a lot of task cards in the library. Because I only have 16 computers, I needed a way to circulate the students through so that everyone stayed busy and got a chance to use the computer. I started creating small tasks to do on the computer that take only 10 or 15 minutes, but gives everyone practice. First, I made computer cards, each card has a number on it and each of my computers has a matching number. When a computer is available, the card is in my box and I grab it, look at my class roster and assign it to someone. I mark the number on my roster for that student, they come and get the card and take it with them to the computer. When they are done, they return the card to my green box and I give the card to someone else. Then I made 24 Animal Research cards. Each card has the log in information for my database on the front, and the animal I want researched on the back. I print them out on 2x4 inch labels and stick them on index cards that I laminate.   To store all my task cards, I found these nice cardboard boxes at Demco that are very cheap. The database I use is World Book Online. After logging in, go to the Kids page, which has icons to click on and is easy for new readers to manage. Click on the World of Animals and you can pull up basic information on a lot of different animals. I made a book for the lapbook to collect research for nine different animals. The first page of the book is a table of contents. I like students to construct their own table of contents to get a good understanding of how to use one. To construct the book, cut off the margins on the dotted lines and cut in half. Stack the pages together and staple and fold. Students number the pages themselves so they do not have to be in any order except for the cover. The book takes 1  1/2 pages … [Read more...]

Researching the 50 State Quarters

I like to use the states to research with different types of resources because there are fifty states, and I have never had more than fifty students at once, (48 once!) so every student can be working on a different state at the same time.  Besides reading for information, I like students to practice writing bibliography citations for different kinds of resources. I wanted them to research using the computers, but I don’t have enough computers for everyone to work on at once, so I decided to print out information from the internet for them to use. Information about the state quarters is not information readily available in books, encyclopedias or almanacs, so it is a good subject for internet research.  Plus, nearly every class has a least one student whose family collects state quarters, so I was hoping it would be a high-interest subject too. I printed out information for each state quarter from World Book Online, which my school has a subscription to, but I found a really nice print out from the U.S. Mint, which you can get here. I made sure the bibliography citation was on every sheet, and I laminated each one. I introduce this lesson with a PowerPoint presentation that describes the program and how to write a bibliography citation from the Internet.  Then I give them the booklet to record their research. This is a full page booklet, folded in half and placed on two boxes in the lapbook. The book takes three pages of paper and provides space to research ten quarters. You certainly can put more or less pages in the book. Students randomly select a laminated copy of the state quarter print outs and take it back to their seats to start researching. They draw a picture of the quarter in the box, find three facts about the quarter to write and copy down the bibliography citation. The facts about the quarter should talk about the symbols on the quarter and why they were chosen to include in the design.  When they finish, they exchange their print … [Read more...]