Inside: A list of interesting research topics for kids in elementary school or homeschool!
Teaching research skills is so important in elementary school. We can help our students navigate the “how-tos” of research. Learning how to navigate text features in nonfiction books, finding credible sources online, and taking notes are all skills we’ve mastered and can pass on to our knowledge-thirsty students.
One of the tricky things is taking the time to come up with interesting research topics for kids and coordinating research units for each topic. Our students still need some scaffolding and guidance, and there are so many things they study in school. How can we possibly decide what topics they should research and have time to put together comprehensive units?
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I’ve got you covered with a list of engaging research topics for kids!
A ready-to-go research unit, that follows my 5-step research process, is also available for many of these topics for your convenience! These unit studies will allow you to expand on content taught in class or start fresh with science and social studies research units complete with everything from unit outlines, parent letters, and internet research lessons to help students find credible sources, projects, reports, journaling pages, and more.
Students will also build their research skills during the process, so these units are a great way to make time for science and social studies with an integrated curriculum since you will still teach the necessary language arts curriculum at the same time.
Learn how to skyrocket your students’ research skills by listening to this episode of Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast.
What are some good research topics for kids?
From the solar system to dinosaurs, scientists & inventors, and holidays around the world, below are good research topics for kids, possible research questions for kids to answer, and other interesting research topics for kids related to the topic.
Table of Contents
The Solar System
It’s hard to meet a child that doesn’t have some interest in outer space. That’s why this is #1 on our list of research topics that kids will love. This Solar System Research Unit has students research a planet of choice (yours or theirs), create a model, and write a report. Research should be more than just taking notes and writing a report, and this unit really brings art into STEM!
Questions for your students to research the solar system:
- What are the names of the planets in our solar system?
- How big is our solar system?
- What does the solar system look like?
- Why does everything in our solar system revolve around the sun?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to the solar system:
- Research one planet in our solar system
- The history of NASA
- Research an astronaut
- Is the moon made of cheese?
- Space shuttles
- The Space Race
Next to outer space, dinosaurs also top the curiosity list for elementary scientists. With our Dinosaur Research Unit, you can assign your student or let them choose a specific dinosaur to research. Besides the usual report, students will have a blast creating salt dough fossils of their dino. Dinosaurs are a very fun and engaging research topic that kids will love!
Question for your students to research about dinosaurs:
- When do paleontologists think dinosaurs lived?
- What do we learn about dinosaurs from fossils?
- How do paleontologists learn about dinosaurs?
- Where did dinosaurs live?
- When were the first dinosaurs discovered?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to dinosaurs:
- Extinct animals such as saber-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, or dodo bird
- The Ice Age
- How to help endangered animals
- How do animals go extinct
- Are birds dinosaurs?
Landforms are cool! They are one of the best physical science or geography topics for kids to research. I like to learn all about different landforms together and then assign your students one specific landform to research.
Your students will research and write a report/presentation about their specific landform and create a salt dough model. Everything is ready to go for you in our Landforms Research Unit!
Question for your students to research landforms:
- What is a landform?
- What landforms can be found where I live?
- How are landforms formed?
- What plants can be found near my landform?
- What animals can be found near my landform?
Animals and Habitats
Animals and habitats are one of my favorite research topics for kids! The unit starts with students being assigned a habitat to explore and an animal that resides in that habitat to study. Accompanying the report/presentation about their animal is a creation of a terrarium of their habitat and animal. Check out this picture of a terrarium that one of my 3rd-grade students made when I used my Animals and Habitats Research Unit!
Question for your students to research animals and habitats:
- What does my habitat look like?
- Where in the world can I find my habitat?
- What animals live in my habitat?
- What does my animal like to eat?
- How does my animal fit in the food chain?
Kids love penguins, so why not use them as your next research topic? Your students may not know that there are various types of penguins. After learning about the types of penguins, they’ll have one of their own to study. On butcher paper, they’ll create a life-size penguin to share and integrate math and science measurement standards. This Penguin Research Unit shows us why penguins are such a fun research topic for kids!
Question for your students to research about penguins:
- What do penguins eat?
- Who are penguins’ predators?
- How do penguins communicate?
- How do penguins move from one place to another?
- Where do penguins live?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to penguins:
- Antarctica & the South Pole
- Polar bears or other arctic & antarctic animals
- Glaciers & icebergs
- Galapagos Islands
What is a comprehensive research topic list without volcanoes? Kids love learning about these miraculous marvels. Of course, students will make their own volcano model after researching in our Volcano Research Unit.
Question for your students to research volcanoes:
- How are volcanoes formed?
- What are the 3 main types of volcanoes?
- How does a volcano work?
- Where are volcanoes usually found?
- What are the similarities and differences between the 3 main types of volcanoes?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to volcanoes:
- Ring of Fire
- Volcanic rock
- Famous volcanic eruptions- Mt. Vesuvius, Mt. Tambora, Mt. Krakatoa, Mt. St. Helen’s
Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters
Tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, hurricanes, and more! Extreme weather and natural disasters are very fun and engaging research topics for kids in your classroom or homeschool. The students will create a poster and research paper about a specific weather phenomenon or natural disaster in our Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters Research Unit.
Question for your students to research extreme weather and natural disasters:
- What are some examples of natural disasters?
- What are some examples of extreme weather?
- What are the causes of extreme weather or natural disasters?
- Are there any warning signs?
- How can I prepare for extreme weather or natural disaster?
United States Presidents
The presidents of the United States make a great research topic. With 45 presidents to choose from, each student is bound to bring something unique to the research. With our United States President’s Research Unit, students will write a report and create a paper plate mask of their chosen president.
Question for your students to research about United States Presidents:
- What are the requirements to be a US president?
- How does someone become president of the United States?
- What responsibilities does the US president have?
- What privileges does the US resident have?
- Which branch of government does the US President run and how?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to US presidents:
- US Vice Presidents
- US First Ladies
- The Bill of Rights
- Famous presidential speeches
The United States can be such a great research topic for kids in your classroom or homeschool group because each student can study a different state! Each student will research and write about one of the 50 states before creating a salt dough model to include landforms, bodies of water, and landmarks. This United States Research Unit is perfect for your state reports.
Question for your students to research about the United States of America:
- When and how was the United States founded?
- What is the US Constitution and why is it important?
- What is the Bill of Rights and why is it important?
- What are some famous landmarks in the United States of America?
- What are some rights and responsibilities of US citizens?
Black history is a great research topic for kids, especially during the month of February for Black History Month. Through studying black history and the civil rights movements, students will be assigned a black history leader to research and write about. Their final project will be a hand-drawn poster of their person complete with character traits. Be sure to check out our Black History Research Unit!
Question for your students to research Black History:
- What are some important events in Black History?
- How did these events shape civil rights?
- Who were some Black History leaders?
- It is important for me to learn about Black History because…
Other interesting research topics for kids related to Black History:
- The March On Washington
- Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike
- Establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Establishing Black History Month
- Buffalo Soldiers during the Civil War
- Tuskegee Airmen
- Jim Crow Laws
- The Little Rock Nine
- Woolworth’s Lunch Counter
- Freedom Riders
- 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
Holidays Around the World
There are so many holidays celebrated around the globe. Even the way Christmas is celebrated in different countries is unique. The unit requires students to be assigned a holiday to research and write about, ultimately creating a holiday decoration to share. This unit even includes special info pages about each of the included holidays. The Holidays Around the World Research unit is a true gem, and it makes a really fun research topic for kids around the holidays.
Question for your students to research holidays around the world:
- Who celebrates this holiday?
- Where is this holiday celebrated?
- How did the holiday begin?
- What are some important traditions during this holiday?
- What are important symbols used during this holiday?
Women in History
Women in history is a very important research topic for kids. It is important for students to see the accomplishments that so many women have made, from the past and into the present. By having children research the accomplishments of women in history, our young girls will know that they, too, can do great things.
Students will either choose or be assigned an inspirational woman from history. Similar to the Black History unit, they’ll research and write, ultimately creating a hand-drawn poster. The Women In History Research Unit is perfect for Women’s History Month in March or any time of year.
Question for your students to research women’s history:
- What are some important events in women’s history?
- How have these events shaped the rights of women?
- Who are some well-known inspiring women?
- It is important for me to learn about women’s history because…
Scientists and Inventors
Looking at different innovators and their creations can be fascinating, so of course, it made the cut on our list of research topics for kids. Your students will have a specific person to explore before creating a model of their invention or discovery. You can find everything you need in the Scientists and Inventors Research Unit.
Question for your students to research scientists and inventors:
- Who are some famous scientists?
- What are some important accomplishments of these famous scientists?
- Who are some famous inventors?
- What are some important accomplishments of these famous inventors?
- What obstacles did these scientists and inventors face?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to scientists and inventors:
- Famous inventions & how they work
- Industrial revolution
- Radium girls
- Manhattan Project
- History of science fiction
A perfect pair with language arts, students will study particular authors. They’ll write their own biography of the author and create a bibliography of the author’s own books. You can get this biography template inside the Author Study Research Unit!
Question for your students to research an author:
- Where and when was my author born?
- What was my author’s childhood like?
- What was my authors’ educational background?
- What obstacles did my author face and overcome?
- Some works written by my author are…
Greece, China, Egypt, and more! Ancient civilizations are the perfect research topic for kids, and you can find everything you need in the Ancient Civilizations Research Unit. There are so many ancient civilizations for your students to study and research. They’ll also make a model of an important structure in their civilization.
Question for your students to research Ancient Civilizations:
- Which ancient civilization are you going to research?
- Where was my ancient civilization located? What geographical features sustain the development of the civilization?
- When was my civilization started and how long did it last?
- What was daily life like in my civilization?
- How did the government function in my civilization?
Other interesting research topics for kids related to Ancient Civilizations:
- The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World– Great Pyramids of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus, Temple of Artemis, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, Pharos of Alexandria
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
- Code of Hammurabi
- Rosetta Stone
- Elgin Marbles
Learn more about Asian American-Pacific Islander History! Research AAPI Heritage during AAPI Heritage Month in May or any time of the year. Have your students research AAPI History and an AAPI leader such as Anna May Wong, Chien-Shiung Wu, Connie Chung, Daniel Inouye, Duke Kahanamoku, Sal Khan, and Yuri Kochiyama, plus more included in our AAPI Research Unit!
Questions for your students about AAPI History
- What are some important events in AAPI History?
- How have these events shaped the civil rights of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?
- Who were some important AAPI leaders?
- It is important for me to learn about AAPI History because…
Other interesting research topics related to AAPI History
- How do you celebrate AAPI Heritage Month?
- People v. Hall
- “Coolie Trade” ban
- United States v. Wong Kim Ark
- The Bellingham Riots
- Alien Land Act
- War Relocation Authority in World War II
- Delano Grap Strike
- Vincent Chin & The Hate Crimes Prevention Act
- US Olympic Swim Team Coach Soichi Sakamoto
Hispanic Heritage and Latino History
Encourage your students to learn more about Hispanic Heritage and Latino History! Ask them to research historical events or important Latinx leaders and their impacts. After researching, you can have your students create a poster about their Latinx leader. Find out more in our Hispanic Heritage and Latino History Research Unit.
Questions for your students about Hispanic Heritage and Latino History
- What are some important events in Hispanic and Latino History?
- How have these events shaped the civil rights of Hispanic and Latino people?
- Who were some important Hispanic and Latino History leaders?
- It is important for me to learn about Hispanic Heritage and Latino History because…
Other interesting research topics related to Hispanic Heritage and Latino History
- Public Law 90-48 & National Hispanic Heritage Week Bill
- Why is the date of Hispanic Heritage month important?
- The Mexican Revolution
- Cesar Chaves & the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA)
- Spanish Imperialism and Missionaries
- Old Spanish Trail
- The Bracero Program
- Freedom Tower, the “Ellis Island of the South”
- Spanish American War
- Jones-Shafroth Act
- Zoot Suit Riots
- Mendez v. Westminster School District
- Hernandez v. State of Texas
- Mariel Boatlift
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
What to do with these research topics for kids?
After each research unit, your students will have a fair to present their models, posters, or other creations. Sharing their research with parents, teachers, other students, and even the community is an important part of taking pride and ownership in their own research.
Don’t stress about creating research units from scratch. Our science and social studies research bundles have you covered!
Lower and Upper Grades Social Studies Research Unit Bundle (Digital & Print Versions)Product on sale
Lower and Upper Grades Science Research Unit (Digital & Print Versions)Product on sale
Lower and Upper Grades Science and Social Studies Research Unit MEGA BUNDLE (Digital and Print Versions)Product on sale
Try out a few topics with your class! In addition, you can also find all of these research units in my Teachers pay Teachers store!
Want a FREE sample of the research units to use with these research topics?
If so, you can grab a free sample of the units below. This freebie includes pages that will help your student understand how to use text features during their research such as:
- A book research activity to teach the difference between the table of contents and index using a Venn Diagram!
- How to use the internet to research activity
- Finding credible sources of activity
- Student pages AND lesson plans included for each activity
- Teacher instructions pages so you know just how to use these in your classroom or homeschool setting!
- Black & white versions of each lesson are also included!
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This is very important it has helped the kids to discover themselves things in the world.
Children are becoming self-reliant.