iPads, Research, and Fun, Oh My!

Research is interesting and exciting with iPads!

It's easier than you think!

Integrating research into your curriculum is a piece of cake! Look what a second grader can do....

But we don't have time!

Yep, welcome to education.

We are always looking to find ways to make room for more good and exciting ideas. Luckily we have an idea for you!

INTEGRATE research into a social studies or science concept! You will already teach the concept anyways, so it's perfect to add research in!

Okay, so how do we get started?


TEKS are always our foundation for any lesson or concept to teach! We need to look at our research TEKS to make a plan!

The four components of Research

Generating a plan

Gathering Information

Synthesizing Information

Organizing and presenting ideas

So what will they research ABOUT?

Pick a concept!

Look through your Social Studies or Science TEKS to find a good concept to have your students research about. Keep in mind the depth the Research TEKS require your students to go, including thinking of a way to get interviews from local experts-possibly from a field trip.

Research concept #1: Generating a Plan

Generating Questions

Use Padlet as a way for students to post questions about their topic and see their peers' ideas.

Create notes pages

Because our students are younger, and we are using specific TEKS to research, we decided to create notes pages to give our students the specific research questions to guide them. We took the questions directly from our TEKS and coincidently, the students' questions matched what the TEKS said.

Have students discuss how they can get information

Books, encyclopedias, online resources, real life experiences- such as interviews and field trips.

Search engine for copyright- friendly images

Research concept #2: Gathering Information

Model, model, model!

So many of these skills are brand new to your students. We've learned the best way to teach the concepts is model them many times in front of the class, as well as link the concepts to ideas they already have learned.

We will have our own animal to research, and actually fill out each notes page in front of the class. For example- review how to use text features to find information, as well as explaining that skimming is similar to locating facts in texts. Review strategies with your students. This is why we chose to do our researching unit later in the year, so our students will have learned comprehension skills in informational texts already.

This is also a time to teach any information about the science or social studies TEKS.

Here is one of our notes pages.

When I model this page, I go through and show the students how to look for information, skim, use text features and write short notes. I also taught about hibernation and migration at this time.

iPad tricks to make finding information easier

Structure of gathering information time

Decide on a way to structure this note taking time. We have learned that our lower readers struggle with finding quality information, so we have grouped them in mixed-ability groups. The students work together and share information to complete their pages. Then the teacher checks each page for correct information. I kept a check off sheet that showed what page each student had completed.

Research Topic #3: Synthesizing Information


Just a discussion...

Because we have had students pick a specific concept based on our TEKS, we have found there isn't too much room to modify the topic. It does happen with a couple kids through the process- one student was set on researching on specifically Spider Monkeys, but was struggling to find enough information about that breed. We had a class discussion about what this student could do and we talked about broadening his topic to monkeys to make it easier to find information.

Research Concept #4: Organizing and Presenting Ideas

Decide which apps and products will show your students' information best

We decided to make each notes page into a "slide" or smaller product in an app. Then students compiled all the slides together into a video maker app. Before assigning the final project, we made a rubric with specific steps for students to complete each part of the product.

Share your students' work!

We made QR code posters that hung in the hall for the whole school to come scan and watch our students final products!

And you're done!! We hope these ideas will make researching fun and easy for you and your students! Good luck!