This explorer research unit was designed to supplement explorer research conducted by my 5th grade students in their homeroom classrooms. The overall theme of the unit is that students are working as a PR team for an explorer to convince the Queen (aka the media specialist) to choose him or her for an important journey. After students research the explorer and create their PR product, they will present them to the class and the Queen will make a decision. The winning PR team each receives “funding” for the journey, which is a gift certificate to the next school book fair.
I wanted our library media center investigation of explorers to allow students to explore our research databases, as well as learn new technology tools for sharing research findings. The unit is designed for students to have individual choice from beginning to end in order to keep them engaged and allow them to share research in a creative method. Guidance through a graphic organizer and rubric helps the students focus on their task. Since it is designed for intermediate students, they are expected to complete the project independently to demonstrate mastery of information literacy skills.
This unit is designed to use apps, such as Green Screen by Do Ink and Decide Now, for student engagement. In addition, the final products also use Board Builder in Discovery Education and Animoto for Education. I upload my materials to Google Classroom so that students can access them online. However, if your students do not have Google Classroom accounts, you may print and hand out the materials instead. Though this unit does rely on digital resources for each lesson, you can adapt them to print resources and alternative end products if you do not have access to the same digital resources.
This packet includes the following:
•An outline of each lesson, including a list of needed materials & preparation
•List of explorers
•Technology project information sheets so students may work independently on their selected products
•Book fair gift certificates