A Web Based Research Project for 5th Graders

Columbus Day -- October 12th

Web Resources

Below are a number of web sites that may be helpful in collecting information about an explorer.  It is very important that students know what plagiarism is and that they synthesis the information in their own words and avoid copying another person's work.

Project Components
  • Research an explorer
  • Create a 5 paragraph written report
  • Create a poster using images and main points
  • Create a multimedia project such as a presentation, Animoto, Educreation project or iMovie.
Free online reference sources: 
Infoplease.com  http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/world/exploration-the-european-age-discovery.html

Web Quest Activities

Doing some or all of these activities will help you learn about the Age of Exploration.

Voyage of Exploration: Discovering New Horizons

Enchanted Learning-Zoom Explorers
Explorer Research Links

Google Searches

English: Click here

History.About.com Search

Magellan (en espanol)

New World Explorers  Mr. Donn.org

Written Report

Write 5 paragraphs   Final draft done on word processor or written very neatly.  Place on backside of the poster
  1. Overview introducing the explorer and state the importance of what they did.
  2. Write a paragraph about why they made their expedition and for what country
  3. Write a paragraph describing the journey, including the who, what, where, how
  4. Write a paragraph about the effect or result of their expedition
  5. Write a concluding paragraph summarizing the main points.


Include art work, important facts, a map of their expedition(s) and a timeline of the explorer's life.

Bibliography - Citing Sources

Project Objectives   California History-Social Science Content Standards for Grade 5

5.2 Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early
                    explorations of the Americas. 

                    1. Describe the entrepreneurial characteristics of early explorers (e.g., Christopher
                    Columbus, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado) and the technological developments that
                    made sea exploration by latitude and longitude possible (e.g., compass, sextant,
                    astrolabe, seaworthy ships, chronometers, gunpowder). 
                    2. Explain the aims, obstacles, and accomplishments of the explorers, sponsors, and
                    leaders of key European expeditions and the reasons Europeans chose to explore and
                    colonize the world (e.g., the Spanish Reconquista, the Protestant Reformation, the
                    Counter Reformation). 
                    3. Trace the routes of the major land explorers of the United States, the distances
                    traveled by explorers, and the Atlantic trade routes that linked Africa, the West Indies,
                    the British colonies, and Europe. 
                    4. Locate on maps of North and South America land claimed by Spain, France,
                    England, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Russia. 

Project Activities / Resources
  • Choose An Explorer: First come, first served.  Check out  this 5th Grade Web Quest for ideas.
  • Student Research: Students research the explorer chosen or assigned using printed and web resources.
  • Student Report Outline: Students use an outline to organize their research.
  • Student Written Report: Students create a written report using  Google Docs . and by consulting the provided Report Rubric
  • POWER POINT TEMPLATE  Student Power Point/Oral Presentation: Following a teacher-made storyboard, students create a Presentation about their explorer (using Microsoft Power Point or the free Google Docs or Open Office.  Students then give an oral report in class, using the presentation as a visual aid.
  • Student Web Page: Using the Power Point slides (saved as .gif images), students modify the Power Point into a web page, such as in Google Docs.
  • Historical Timeline of the Explorer - Timeline maker: Horizontal   Vertical  Timeline Rubric
  • Map of area explored showing the Explorer's route   World Map    Printable  Maps       Map Rubric
Project Resources
A 5th grader's Power Point bibliography
It is very important that in whatever format students present their work, whether in a written report, power point or web page include a bibliography so as to give credit.

Bibliography - Citing Sources

For information or images from a web site, you should include the following format to show where it came

    Basic Web Page Citing: 
    Last name, First name of Author and any other Authors. “Title of Work.” Name of Site. Date of
    Posting/Revision. Organization. Date of Access <electronic address>. 

 Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author,  C. C. (2000). 
                       Title of article. Title of  Periodical, xx, xxxxxx.
                       Retrieved month day, year, from source <http://www.__________.___>
 Refer to: http://www.apastyle.org/elecgeneral.html

    Curry, Robert. “Colonial2002.”  San Jose Teach.  May 30, 2002, SJTeach.org, October 22, 2002 
              < www.sjteach.org/colonial2002.html > 

    For printed sources, use the standard bibliography format  found  at

Sample of a timeline of an explorer
Online Timeline maker: Horizontal   Vertical


Created by RDCurry
Updated 10/07/2013

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