This research project was designed for my 8th grade US History class, but could be adapted to fit grades 4-12, depending on the level of your students and on the material being taught at your grade level. The outcome is a children's book, complete with pictures (either hand-drawn or computer images) and age-appropriate text to accompany each picture. The outcome is NOT a huge research paper, rather a brief summary of different topics relating to the explorers.
The overall project is that students will work (individually or in pairs) on researching an explorer (either assigned or chosen). I had my students work in pairs, and choose their explorer out of a hat. They then complete the necessary research using the required sources, filling in note-taking guides and later a research matrix before drafting their project. Then, they write a rough draft of what will be on each page of their book (accompanied by a picture). Finally, they put their book together, and I gave them cardstock for the covers, plain white paper for the pages (all 3-hole punched), and brads to hold them together.
What you are purchasing:
Page 1: Brief project description, list of explorers, materials needed.
Page 2: Detailed project description, page requirements, works cited requirements
Page 3: Note-taking guides
Pages 4-5: Research matrix
Page 6: Grading rubric