As I wrote about in an earlier post: choice is the key when allowing students to pick their own research topics. The next big piece in our research is collaboration through our class wiki. This year we are using the wiki for three purposes.
a. students explain why they chose their topic
b. a place holder for their links that they will use when they compose their own wonder
c. a place where students cam comment to each other and help each other with links they might find for their friend
Here are some snap shots of some amazing learning that have already occurred from our class wiki.
These virtual conversations really pushed the students to excel in their research. They were excited to share links and help each other push their writing. One student shared their 4th grade weather book with a friend. Connections with family trips as well as science class were amazing. Then the conversations boiled over into our classroom the next morning.
I would suggest considering research projects to extend beyond the classroom walls.