Research in K-2

This time of year is an excellent time to do research with your littles and students are not so little anymore (isn't it amazing how they grow in a year?!)

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is research lapbooks! I've used the lapbooks in my class for years now, and they never disappoint.  I love them for many reasons, but here are the top three!

1.  They are easy to organize and teach in segments.  I build the lapbook over the week with my students.  This means we only cut a section at a time, glue it in, and then answer it.  Each day we build on it.  By the end of the unit, we have it all complete in this nice treasure for students to keep!

2. It is easy to differentiate! Due to the set up of the lapbook, I am can easy adapt the level of rigor for my students based on needs.  My students who struggle feel just as successful as my students that are farther along academically.  My high achievers excel at this project and it gives them a chance to dig deep and stretch their learning too.

3.  Presentation.  My students are so proud to present their research to parents and fellow learners.  We work hard and at the end they have a keepsake that is a great example of their learning.  Plus, if you need something for open house or an evening event, this is great to set out on desks!

So here is how it works!


Students choose an animal they want to research.  I typically do one lapbook whole class, and then I split my students into groups and they work in a group on their own research for their second animal.

Each day we complete a different step of the research.The lapbook builds on itself throughout the week and by the end students have an artifact that showcases all of their research that they are proud to share with their classmates and family.

Research Dissection

Here are the steps we complete each day of the research project to help us finish it in a timely manner and have it make sense.

Day 1

We start by making a circle map of all the things we know about the animal that we are researching.  We then watch a movie or a read a book about the animal.  Some of my favorite books to use are the National Geographic My First Books.  After we have done our circle map as a class and watched the video we cut and glue our animal cover on our lapbook to set up our project.  I typically fold my lapbooks in advance so students do not have to worry about them being straight.

Day 2

On day two students start by reflecting on what they learned the day before.  We will then complete the K-W of our K-W-L chart and then read and discuss it.  Students will then work to find the answers for their L part of their chart.

Day 3

We use books and websites and collect information about the animal students are researching and write the answers on our research cards that go in our lapbook.  Then I guide students through gluing their pocket for research and we place our cards in the pocket.  Students then label and glue in their diagram of their animal.

Day 4

We begin our fact pages.  I review with students expectations of what the pages should look like by completing an exemplar anchor chart.  This type of anchor chart shows the correct way to do the pages as well as my own example of the incorrect way to do the pages.

Day 5

We complete our fact pages and the pictures for them and complete the favorite Fun Fact flap.  And I give students time to finish anything that is incomplete.  Once this is done, the whole project is assembled and they are ready to share their creations.

Breaking the research down like this makes it simple and easy to complete and teaches children that it isn't a mystery.  Plus they enjoy the process so much they don't realize how much work they're doing.

If you like this research you can purchase one or several lapbooks to make your own class creations!  There are three options:  the Zoo Bundle, Ocean Bundle, Desert Bundle, or you can get ALL THREE SETS here!  All lapbooks are sold individually here as well, if it better fits your needs.

Happy researching!

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