education / Teacher-authors

New Monthly Column–Especially for Teacher-Authors

I have a lot of teacher-authors who read my WordDreams blog so I thought I’d add a monthly summary of the most popular posts from my teacher education blog, Ask a Tech Teacher. This article (from the November/December favorites) is great for showing kids how to research but also has lots of basics for us adults. Check out a few of the links:

Research 101

It’s difficult finding kid-safe research websites that really are. Even Google SafeSearch has issues at times. Here’s my list of safe spots for my students. Before rolling any of these out, preview them to be sure they fit your unique student group:

    1. BrainPop–with the BrainPop characters, a launchpad to curiosity; most videos require a subscription
    2. CoolKidFacts–kid-friendly videos, pictures, info, and quizzes–all 100% suitable for children
    3. CyberSleuth Kids–free kid-friendly graphics
    4. Dimensions–academic research geared for college-level
    5. Fact Monster–help with homework and facts
    6. History Channel–great speeches
    7. How Stuff Works–the gold standard in explaining stuff to kids
    8. Info Please–events cataloged year-by-year
    9. Library Spot— an extensive collection of kid’s research tools
    10. National Geographic for Kids
    11. SchoolsWorld.TV--an eclectic collection of educational videos
    12. Smithsonian Quest–sign up your class; student research/explore with the Smithsonian
    13. SqoolTube Videos–educational videos for Prek-12
    14. TagGalaxy–search using a cloud
    15. Wild Wordsmyth–picture dictionary for kids
    16. World Almanac for Kids
    17. World Book–requires membership
    18. Zanran–statistics and data research

Citation Resources

Once students have found the information they need online, here are great places to make sure they provide the proper citations:

    1. BibMe
    2. Citation Machine
    3. EasyBib

Kids Search Engines

For the youngest researchers, you want more than kid-safe websites. You want an entire search engine that will point students to only the safest, G-rated sites. There are a lot out there but these are the only I recommend at this point:

    1. Kiddle— a visual search engine for kids
    2. Kid Rex
    3. Kidtopia

How to Researchresearch tips

To properly research requires training and practice. Here are sites that will provide both:

    1. A Google A Day
    2. How to Search on Google
    3. Power Searching (with Google)
    4. Teaching students to search/research
    5. Internet Search and Research–a lesson plan for K-8


Finding sites that only provide safe images I find almost impossible. Even Google safe-search shows inappropriate thumbnails too often. Here are a few I recommend:

    1. National Gallery of Art–for kids
    2. Photos for Class–large collection of images
    3. Pics4Learning–a more limited collection but always safe
    4. Smithsonian Wild–200,000 animal pictures!


5 Lesson Plans to teach researching in the classroom

Use Unconventional Research Sites to Inspire Students

How do I teach Inquiry and Research in Middle School


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Fall 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

67 thoughts on “New Monthly Column–Especially for Teacher-Authors

  1. Pingback: New Monthly Column–Especially for Teacher-Authors — WordDreams… – fz discovers her limitless potential

  2. Thank you so very much, Jacqui. Very helpful indeed. I do teaching research skills and scour the internet for easy to understand research techniques. I’ll be certainly checking these links out that you have kindly put together. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear that all the time from my grad students who teach high school. There seems to be no system in place if students didn’t learn proper research in the lower grades. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if this is generational? Funny story…when went back to head school at 46 and had the university online library at my disposal, I could find anything! A younger student in class asked how I found a source for the topic, and I simply replied that I just kept digging. She said, if it doesn’t come up right away, she gives up. In tonight’s class, I even provide links in canvas to spark the research process.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I taught a class once. I haven’t been asked back. They said my lecture, “Why you should eat junk food everyday” wasn’t exactly what they were looking for … also my planned science lecture, “How to set fire to a GI Joe with a magnifier” was considered inappropriate for 5 graders.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you – useful for homework support and research. Sometimes it’s in-depth searching I’ll need, but often it’s a quick fact check, and a kid’s resource is generally as useful as anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is true, and they do break things down to understandable chunks. If the average reading level is 8th grade (in the US) and average international IQ is 99 (how do you really measure that?), kids stuff is kind of appealing.


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