Getting young students excited to do a research project on a country is easy. Finding quality resources for teaching them how to do the research is not.
We’ve gathered helpful information, tips, and resources for making a country research project a fun and engaging learning experience. Happy Travels!
Research Project Planning
To make any project go smoothly, you want to be organized and prepared. Here are some questions and tips to consider before diving in:
Who will be conducting the country research project?
- the whole class (benefit: opportunity to introduce and model research skills)
- in small groups (benefits: incorporate cooperative learning skills; provide choice/meet individual needs; compare and share information about different countries)
- independently (benefits: provide choice/meet individual needs; compare and share information about different countries)
What country will be explored?
- Teachers choose the country based on available resources or as a connection to a book, event, or unit of study – for example, researching China during Chinese New Year celebrations, exploring South Africa while reading Long Walk to Freedom, or investigating Brazil as part of a study of the Amazon rainforest.
- Students choose the country based on interest or personal connection (heritage, travel).
- Leave It to Chance & Spin the Wheel!
When will the country research project(s) take place?
Over several weeks? Once a quarter or semester? Throughout the year?
Will it be tied to a book or specific curriculum?
Plan the dates and times for researching, creating, and presenting projects.
Where will students find reliable information about the country?
Setting younger students loose on the internet and providing them with books they can’t read or understand is a recipe for disaster. When learning about countries and cultures, it is critical that the information is accurate and does not promote stereotypes.
See our RESOURCES section below for recommended websites and booklists we use. In addition:
- invite guest speakers such as school staff, families, and community leaders to visit
- establish global pen pals
- join National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom
Why is it important to do a research project on a country?
- developing an understanding of world geography and cultures
- building a foundation for future global learning
- preparing for living and working in a globalized world
- learning new perspectives
- practicing a variety of important skills, including researching, reading, writing, and communication, while discovering our world
- add your own!
How will students share what they learn?
There are many ways students can share their discoveries. An interactive notebook, poster, or presentation board, a slideshow, movie, or travel ad are just some ideas. Encourage your students to come up with their own ideas, too!
Think about who students will be presenting to: classmates, school, families, community …
Plan for where the presentations will be held: classroom, gymnasium, outdoors, online …
Reserve any space needed, and have students create invitations to send out at least one week prior to the event.
Research Project Resources
Introduce the resources you’ve previewed and chosen for students to use. Establish any necessary parameters.
Yep! I needed a reliable, kid-friendly resource for my young students to explore their world. So… I built it!
(Well, I’m building it. More countries continue to be released!) Come explore!
Each country profile page includes:
- detailed map
- infographic of quick facts (population, currency, etc)
- National symbols
- photo gallery
- informational video
- activities for exploring the country’s food, sports, animals, and more
- video read aloud
- book suggestions
- country “challenge” – interactive tasks for learning about the country’s geography and culture. Also available as a PDF.
The Explore section under the “Students” tab has additional resource links on a variety of topics.
Another purpose for building Globe Trottin’ Kids was to share global learning information and resources with my fellow educators.
Browse our Educators tab, Events calendar, and Blog!
Subscribe to our Go Global newsletter for monthly ideas and inspiration.
Provide a variety of books to support students during their research. From facts to folktales, explorers will discover important information for their projects.
Integrate the books into literacy lessons and read-alouds. Leave them accessible for independent and buddy reading. Offer them for checkout to share at home.
Our country profiles include book suggestions – plus a video read-aloud is included in each country challenge!
Prepare the Room for Research Projects
- world map to hang or project on a screen
- world atlas – online or book
- globe – physical or virtual
- make it a festive environment with world flags decor
- country map(s) – posters or printed
- posters of famous landmarks, people, inventions, etc.
- vocabulary wall
- culture kit – check with your school/district resource centers and local libraries
- country artifacts such as clothing, tools, art, and musical instruments
- traditional music
*See the Resource lists below.
Prepare the Students for Research Projects
Background Knowledge & Vocabulary
Before students investigate their world, have them review their place in it.
A basic understanding of map skills and relevant vocabulary (hemispheres, continents, oceans, equator, countries, cities, capitals, borders) are necessary.
Our free geography Flip Book is a great review and reference tool.
Set the Purpose
Ask students why, or share why (from the Why section above) it is important to learn about other countries.
Invite them to share what they want to discover as the “Explorers.” For example, they might be interested in finding out the country’s official language, typical weather, or popular foods and sports.
Make a list of the topics. Guide as needed.
Prepare a notebook (or staple sheets of paper) with pages dedicated to different topics.
Review/model how to take notes using your own words.
Remind students to use several references for cross-checking facts.
Guided Research Project on a Country
To make the project even more organized and engaging for students, try our Guided Country Research Projects for Young Explorers which pair perfectly with our website!
The Country Research Project Draft Book guides students through the research process with step-by-step directions and graphic organizers for collecting information.
The Country Research Project Templates help students make their interactive notebook or presentation board creative and engaging.
Extension ideas, project rubric, answer guide, and student passport are also included!
“This is a great resource that scaffolds the students’ research and allows them to present their information in such a fun way.” (Germany) Pastel Classroom
“I used this resource during a country study and it helped students find and organise the information easily. I used it to model research skills for supported students as well.” (Thailand) Honor H.
“I really appreciated how this helped the student to take charge of their own research.” (Canada) Mandy M.
Countries Currently Available
Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United States (and more coming soon).
Sold individually and bundled.
All proceeds are used to maintain our free global learning website. Thank you in advance!
Purchase a Research Project on a Country on Globe Trottin’ Kids or Teachers Pay Teachers
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