More than ever, teachers necessitate internet research as a required component of out of school assignments, even at the elementary and middle school levels. With the amount of inaccurate and out of date information on the internet, finding the right websites to use when writing papers or working out tough math homework can be a difficult proposition, particularly for young students without a lot of experience navigating the web.
Which websites should students grades 1-8 use for research?
While Wikipedia is a great site for finding out some quick information or building your general knowledge base, the overwhelming majority of teachers will not accept it as a valid source in assignments due to the unverifiable nature of the info.
How about a Google search for finding websites to use as resources for a specific topic?
This could work sometimes, but isn’t the best approach. Again, the web is full of pages with misleading, inaccurate information and poorly written articles that come up even on the first page of Google search results.
What are the best sources for elementary students to use for research?
The best sources for elementary students to use are those connected with a major academic institution, like a well-known university, a government sponsored agency or institution, like the CDC or NASA, or a website connected to a highly regarded organization or museum. Websites sponsored by such organizations are best trusted to provide accurate and up-to-date information on a given topic.
To help out, we’ve created this database of links to trusted sources dedicated to helping kids find assistance with their homework, research their papers, or just unwind with some games after finishing their workload for the evening. There are many of collections of research links with kids in mind, but a substantial portion of them haven’t been updated in years and are full of broken links, or just plain ugly, out-of-date websites.
Not the case with our database. We’ve ensured that each and every link in this archive is valuable and satisfies its purpose, whether that be to help with statistics homework, or write a paper about trailblazing, underappreciated women in history. Additionally, we’ve included resources for parents and teachers, as well. We hope that you all get the most out of this database.
Arts and Entertainment
Film and Theater
- All Movie - A database of practically every film ever made, as well as the people that made them, along with reviews and recommendation lists that young fans of every genre can browse for hours.
- Reader’s Theater Scripts and Plays - A great collection of short scripts for teachers and young lovers of the stage for grades K-3.
- BBC Bite Size: Musical Theatre - A BBC site with a wealth of information on 20th century musical theater, including a glossary of terms and breakdowns of a number of popular musicals.
- Brain Pop: Melody and Harmony - Brain Pop’s page dedicated to teaching kids about the musical concepts of melody and harmony through a slew of entertaining videos and interactive games.
- New York Philharmonic Kidzone - The New York Philharmonic’s kid-friendly site does a great job of introducing the seemingly uptight world of classical music to kids, with great animations and a bunch of flash activities.
- Piano Nanny - Piano Nanny is a huge collection of online piano lessons for all skill levels, appropriate for absolute beginners to virtuosos-in-the-making.
- Musictheory.net - Learning music theory is daunting for any budding musician, but this site makes it easy, with lots of free content, and in-depth material for premium subscribers.
- Exploratorium: Science of Music - This fun site breaks down the how’s and why’s of music through a number of online exhibits and fun experiments. Why does singing sound so excellent in the shower? Visit this site to find out.
- Tux Paint - Tux Paint is an excellent open source drawing program dedicated to teaching kids ages 3-12 the basics of drafting and shading.
- Garden of Praise: Famous Paintings - An extensive, if old-fashioned looking, online database of some of the most highly-regarded western artworks, along with information on the artists and the process that went into the works’ creation.
- Easy Drawing Guides - This site hosts tons of drawing tutorials, including guides on drawing your favorite animals and objects in a somewhat cartoony style.
- Artsonia Kids Art Museum - A massive online museum of over 60 million works of art done by kids ranging from elementary to high school age.
- Enchanted Learning: Biographies of Great African-Americans - Enchanted Learning’s compendium of biographies of storied African-Americans is a great place to start for exploring Black History.
- Mr. Nussbaum: Presidents of the United States - Need to freshen up on your presidential facts? Look no further than this terrific website with information on every president from Washington to Obama (sorry, still no Trump update yet!).
- The Nobel Prize Internet Archive - The Nobel Prize is awarded to worthy candidates from around the world in literature, physics, chemistry, and peace. Every winner since 1901 can be found in this interactive archive.
- Mr Nussbaum: Biographies for Kids - A huge archive of bios sorted in several categories, including, most notably, pirates.
- Biography.com: People - Biography.com has bios on everybody: from historical figures to contemporary popular actors and everyone in-between. A great source for school reports, no matter the subject.
- Biography.com: Groundbreaking Women - One of the best subsections on the Biography.com website, the Groundbreaking Women portal sheds light on oft-overlooked trailblazers in science, the arts, and political activism.
- Notable Female Scientists - As this site proves, women have made their mark in the sciences over the years. This site includes brief biographies of some of the most notable female contributors.
- PBS Kids - A fun site with a ton of games starring popular characters from PBS kids shows. You shouldn’t expect any less from PBS.
- Fun Brain - Fun Brain hosts enough online games, books, and science activities to keep kids from grade 1 all the way to grade 8 entertained for hours and its flash design is really marvelous.
- NIH: Kids Environment Kids Health - The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences hosts this site dedicated to teaching kids about serious subjects like pollution and recycling in a fun fashion.
- Stamp Collecting World - There’s gotta be more than a few stamp collecting kids still out there, and this is the site for them, with a listing of stamps from all over the world spanning centuries.
- Beckett - Long the leading authority on sports card collecting, Beckett has a website that should keep any avid baseball card collecting kid enthralled for hours.
- Sports Reference - If kids love sports, they probably love to read stats. This portal of statistics of every popular professional sport in America has just about every stat that you could imagine.
- Fun and Easy Valentines Crafts for Kids - Want to impress that pretty girl in your class? Choose from one of these Valentine’s Day projects to wow her with your crafting prowess.
- 50+ Quick & Easy Kids Crafts that Anyone Can Make - An archive of craft projects that should keep any artistically-inclined kid occupied for weeks.
- SPCA Kids: Animal Care - Kids must learn that caring for a pet is a huge responsibility. This site teaches children how to care for just about any type of animal, including hedgehogs.
- American Kennel Club - For dog-loving children, the American Kennel Club includes information on a ton of breeds, as well as expert advice on how to care for your dog.
- Breeds of Livestock - Some kids just love horses, while a select few are lucky enough to be able to ride them regularly. For this type of kid, Oklahoma State provides info on an exhaustive list of horse breeds.
- Animal Planet: Pets - A very fun, kid-oriented site with fun facts on various pets, advice on how to care for them, and some games, as well.
- Kids Health - A great resource of health information for both parents and kids. Answers health questions that you may be afraid to ask parents or teachers.
- Go Ask Alice! - This site provides health advice tailored towards older kids middle school and up and may not be appropriate for elementary school children.
- CDC: Bam! Body and Mind - The CDC’s kids portal really knocks it out of the park when it comes to teaching children about important subjects like nutrition, fitness, and illnesses.
- Dole: Superkids - A fun site with a ton of healthy recipes that kids can make, featuring--you guessed it--Dole fruit and other products.
- Mayo Clinic: Children’s Health - Kid’s nutrition advice from one of the top health clinics in the country.
- Active Kids: Fitness for Kids - A great resource listing activities that will keep kids fit and active, as well as listings of local organizations that they can join up with, where ever they live.
- Super Healthy Kids: Kid Fitness - Gobs of fun activity lists categorized by themes, age groups, and seasons of the year.
- Healthychildren.org: Fitness - One more terrific kids fitness resource, providing instruction on basic exercises, to more complicated and exciting games.
- BBC: History for Kids - The BBC’s excellent kid-oriented history site covers all regions and time periods with a focus on the British Isles and should be a great resource for homework assignments.
- National Women’s History Museum - The interactive exhibits alone make this a great site to visit for kids interested in women’s history.
- History for Kids - A wonderful history resource for kids with very specific subjects, including articles on the daily life of Ancient Romans and Ancient Chinese architecture.
- Kidspast.com - Another archive of history articles for kids. This site’s draw is its excellent illustrations that put it a notch above more dull-looking sites.
- Ancient Civilizations for Kids and Teachers - Ancient history is a never ending source of fascination for all age groups, and this site caters to both kids and teachers with articles and lecture powerpoints.
- NeoK12: Ancient Egypt - Ancient Egypt is one of the most interesting, inscrutable ancient civilizations, and this site directed towards older kids does it justice.
- Civil War Websites for Kids - Wonderfully designed with a variety of great resources, the American Battlefield Trust’s Civil War history website is one of the best around.
- American History for Kids - Broken down into various time periods, this site is an excellent site for children boning up on American history.
- American History for Children Video Series - While many kids history videos on Youtube are amateurish, this series is wonderfully entertaining and educational.
- URI Kids: World Religions - Religion is a topic that can be difficult for a kid to parse, but this site goes a long way in explaining the beliefs of the major world religions in a child-friendly way.
- Study.com: Religion Lesson for Kids - A great little lesson on religion that starts with the basics and works its way up.
Math and Science
- Kids Try Science - Kids Try Science is a fantastic site with experiments in just about every branch to get kids excited about STEM-related fields.
- How Stuff Works: Science - Regularly updated with tons of fascinating articles on breaking scientific discoveries, this is a great site for grades 6-8 science-loving kids.
- Bill Nye Official Website - Bill Nye has been getting kids interested in science for decades, and his fun, interactive website should not disappoint.
- NASA: Kids Do-It-Yourself - With up-to-date space news and interactive activities, NASA’s kids website is one of the top astronomy sites around.
- ESA Kids: Technology - The European Space Agency’s kids site. Not as fancy as the NASA site, but with a good amount of educational articles and news in its own right.
- CoolMath4Kids - Math can be a bore, but CoolMath4Kids makes it a blast by teaching math concepts and offering practice through a diverse set of games.
- Varsity Tutors: A Plus Math - Having trouble understanding a math concept? Varsity Tutors comes to the rescue with a wealth of resources, including homework help and tutorials.
- NeoK12: Statistics for Kids - A great site designed to teach kids from all grade levels about statistics, through instructional videos starring actual children and teens.
Physics and Chemistry
- Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids - A site with a bunch of fun chemistry projects for kids that won’t cause you to blow up your house or endanger your pets.
- Real World Physics Problems for Kids - This site succeeds in presenting how physics can help us solve day-to-day problems outside of textbooks and the classroom.
- Optics for Kids - Optics is one of the more fun and fascinating branches of physics, and this site from the Optical Society does it justice through a host of activities and resources.
- Geography for Kids - A site using games, songs and videos to teach kids about geography.
- Science Kids: Geography - The Science Kids geography site leaves no stone unturned, with info on every geographical feature, along with games and experiments that you can try at home.
- Biology4Kids - Biology can be one of the most fun science topics, and this proves it through fun articles and great visuals.
- Kids Biology - Biology games so fun that they will trick you into learning about cells, and every system of the human body.
- Love to Know: Genetics for Kids - Genetics is not an easy subject for kids to understand, but this great site starts with the basics and is an excellent intro into the field for young learners.
- Genome.gov: Glossary of Terms - A fun, interactive glossary of genetics terminology appropriate for kids grades 6 - 8.
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - While the material on the Cold Spring Harbor Lab site may be too advanced for many kids, gifted middle schools with an interest in genetics will find a lot to love here.
- National Geographic Kids: Animals - Definitely one of the best zoology sites for kids, with info and high resolution images of just about any animal you could think of.
- Dinosaurs for Kids - What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? Not many! This kids dinosaur site has a lot to offer, including worksheets, games and articles.
Reading and Literature
- Poets.org - A terrific database of poets and poems to get kids excited about poetry. The site features a poem-a-day, biographical information about poets, and materials for teachers.
- Seussville - Hosted by Penguin Random House, the most beloved author of children’s books gets the website he deserves, with games and activities starring Dr. Seuss’s most popular characters.
- Spark Notes - Boasting over 500 study guides, Spark Notes can help older kids work through more difficult classic novels, while having them ask pertinent questions about the texts.
- 50 of the Best Children’s Books of the Last 25 Years - This great list by the Huffington Post puts the focus on more contemporary children’s classics.
- 100 Best Children’s Books - A list of excellent children’s books for all age groups spanning decades.
- New York Public Library: 100 Great Children’s Books - Another great list of children’s books published by an esteemed source. Compared to other lists, many of the titles on this list are great for middle schoolers.
- 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12 - Unlike other “great children’s books” lists here, this one is more adventurous, and includes biographies and graphic novels in addition to fiction.
- Scholastic: Best Nonfiction Kids Books - While many children’s books lists are fiction-oriented, this scholastic list shines the light on important nonfiction works.
- Reading Rockets: Nonfiction for Kids - More than just a list of books, this website includes videos and other resources dedicated to introducing nonfiction to kids.
Fact and Reference
- 50states.com - Have a U.S. Geography quiz coming up? This site will help you memorize those capitals, along with more obscure information, like the state tree of Rhode Island.
- Smithsonian Learning Lab - In the Smithsonian Learning Lab, you have nearly the entire collection of the country’s greatest museum at your fingertips, including literally millions of images, sound recordings and videos.
- Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government - Who better to walk you through the ins-and-outs of the U.S. government but the most colorful founding father himself, Ben Franklin?
- Britannica Kids - The kids version of one of the most esteemed encyclopedias in existence. Britannica Kids has over 100,000 articles, along with other features like an interactive world atlas and homework help.
- Kiddle - Another great online kids encyclopedia. This one boasts over 700,000 articles.
- Wiki For Kids - Wiki for Kids is a search tool that sends back results in simple English, ensuring that kids understand the articles and don’t get mowed over by complicated words and concepts.
Technology and the Internet
- Tech Age Kids - A cool website featuring gadgets and teaching approaches designed with children in mind.
- Kids Technology Lab - A site endorsing a program to get kids a head start on important skills for our high tech digital age. It’s never too early to teach youngsters how to code!
- British Council: Computers and Technology - A fun site designed for younger kids with a host of activities and games dedicated to teaching about all types of tech, including computers and mobile phones.
- Envatotuts+: Web Design for Kids - A terrific introduction to the basics of web design for youngsters, such as HTML CSS, typography, and more.
- HTML for Kids - A step-by-step, all-encompassing 12 chapter tutorial on how to program HTML that is a great introduction to the platform for any kid.
Parenting and Teaching Resources
- Parents: Family Entertainment - It can be hard sifting through all of the options to find appropriate entertainment for the family. Parents’ Entertainment section does the work for you.
- Child Help: Parenting Resources - An archive of great books and other resources dedicated to helping parents effectively deal with the myriad issues that arise during parenting.
- New Parent - First time parents need different advice and resources than experienced parents, and that’s where this online publication excels, with advice for expecting mothers as well as parents of a newborn.
- Children and Technology: Education and Learning at Home - More and more, parenting has has becoming about choosing which technology is appropriate for your kids to use. This site helps guide parents to make the right choices in the new era.
Lesson Planning and Teaching Resources
- UK Department of Education: Get Into Teaching - This UK government-sponsored website provides resources and advice for those looking to step into a teaching career.
- Cast UDL Lesson Builder - The Cast UDL Lesson Builder makes lesson planning a whole lot easier, helping teachers create lesson plans that are fun, interesting and involving.
- Learn Boost: Lesson Plans - Learn Boost’s lesson planning software is easy to use and looks nice, too. Teachers will find it easy to implement different types of media into their lesson plans.
- K12 Reader: Lesson Plan Template Readables - An archive of many lesson plan templates for different grade levels and personal tastes.
- Common Curriculum - While it isn’t free, Common Curriculum is an exciting new tool teachers can use to plan all of their lessons months in advance, while easily keeping track of everything.