And I LOVE researching. What do people who dislike researching think? I don't even want to imagine!
I think my negative connotation stems from how I was taught to do a research project. It always seemed like a foggy idea that meant a lot of time spent trying to decode an encyclopedia. It is my goal that my students will never worry when the term "research project" comes up. And, I think we can all agree, you can't escape them.
How to start? I believe that students can start researching in first grade. Below is a template I created for an end-of-year first grader. The idea behind this is to introduce the idea early so there is a built in comfort-level.
If you can't copy the facts, what should you do? We worked on finding a few facts together and putting them in our own words.
The idea of "putting it in your own words" can be overwhelming, but I've found it is much more manageable to approach this as a conversation. For example, "What did you learn from this page?" or "What was exciting here?" or even "What do you remember?" I
I often tell students not to worry about what they are going to write down. Don't even worry about speaking in complete sentences. Just get the ideas out. After an idea can be explained verbally, then try to think of how to put it in writing.
In addition to finding facts and putting them in their own words, I also want students to learn to write down their sources.
The bottom line on this beginning research template has a spot for the title of the book and the author. If a student uses two books to answer the question, then we write down both! The concept of citing is something even first graders are capable of- teach them early and it will just be a natural process!