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Research Databases for K-3rd Grade Students




Although I’ve focused on free Web 2.0 tools on this site, PebbleGo offers databases that are some of the best teacher resources for introducing the research process to beginning readers. Remember that research is a key component in all grades in the Common Core Standards and a critical part of your information literacy program

These research databases contain hundreds of articles each. Features include hundreds of text articles, audio and video components, leveled text, educational games and a wonderful read-aloud capability - lots of great teacher resources to support literacy. There are also some basic assessment tools to check student learning and lesson plans.

This Web 2.0 teaching tool site is designed by Capstone Publishers for grades Kindergarten through 3rd grades. A free trial version is available on the web site. Pricing is available here.

21st Century Skills


PebbleGo supports students in learning the research process that develops information literacy skills. Using these age-appropriate databases, early readers can locate, access, gather, record, and even cite needed information – all important 21st century learning skills.

In the Classroom

Before beginning a research project be sure that primary students understand the necessary vocabulary - such as "What does research mean?" and "What does cite your source mean?"

Free Teacher Resources: To help you get started with introducing your first research project to primary students, I've created some illustrated vocabulary strips. Use these as part of your lesson and then post them on your classroom "Word Wall."

Download Free Vocabulary Words for Your Word Wall!

More free downloads for your class! In the lower elementary grades pairing picture books with informational texts is a great way to get your little ones researching! And research helps develop critical information literacy skills, too. I've compiled some ways to pair award-winning picture books with research activities using PebbleGo.

Download Free "Pairing Picture Books and Research with PebbleGo."

This web site supports differentiated instruction for fluent and struggling readers. Strong readers can read the text themselves. Those students needing more help can use the read-aloud and dictionary features to assist them.

Below is a video showing how a first grade teacher and the librarian collaborated to design a literacy lesson using PebbleGo for research and then had students create an informational class ebook.

Lesson Plans are available on the website which can be viewed with the trial version.

Student assessments are available for the articles. Within each article, there are two forms of assessment. One assessment – “Print and Label” - uses diagrams and drawings to check learning. The other is a report template – “Share What You Know.”

It is a fun tool for introducing early learners to database and research concepts.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Research projects are an important part of the Common Core State Standards beginning in the early elementary grades. Some of the standards addressed by using PebbleGo are -

Reading Standards for Informational Text for Grade 1

  • With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

Writing Standards for Grade 1

  • Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • Participate in shared research and writing projects
  • With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Language Standards for Grade 1

  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
  • With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.


  • Promotional Video from Capstone Publishers
  • Introduction to the Earth and Space database by teacher Sharon Ewers -


Safety Concerns

This site provides a safe virtual environment for student research. Students use a direct link or username and password provided by the school. Personal information is never required.

  • For another great content resource addressing Common Core Standards for vocabulary, informational text, and research opportunities, take a look at Wonderopolis.

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