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Research projects for 5 and 8 year olds

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For that age I would have them narrate a book they read back to you. Narration is another term for oral composition and is the precursor to written composition. It is great because young people enjoy talking about something that interests them. They also gain practice and skill in organizing their thoughts and in speaking. I would keep it fun and simple right now.


ETA just ask "What can you tell me about Canadian Geese?" or "What do you like most about Canadian Geese?" for starters.

Edited by jelbe5
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We went to the library and picked out a bunch of books about Canadian Geese because they are everywhere around these past few weeks and my boys are fascinated by them. How do I go from reading the books to having them make a report about them? Do you have a series of questions that you get them to answer?


I would not make a 5 year old make a report at all. If anything, ask him to tell you one or two things he learned about the geese (orally) or what was his favorite thing about them, and maybe draw a picture of one.


For an 8 year old, if you've taught paragraphs already, you could ask him to write a paragraph (maybe five sentences) covering some things he learned about them and he can add an illustration to it.


But I wouldn't really make an issue of reports at those ages myself (I think my daughter was more like 9 before I started asking her to write paragraphs and so on). They're fascinated by them, you're reading about them, you're probably talking about them, you're looking at them- the kids are learning!

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At 5 & 8, I wouldn't do anything more than talk about it. They are following their interests, there is no need to turn it into a full project unless they start asking to do things with the information. With some kids (okay, with my kid), nothing turns them off of an interest than turning it into "school."

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