Winter Holiday Research Project


Sharon Gurel is an Instructional Designer, currently an M.A. Candidate in the DMDL program at New York University’s Steinhardt School. She is a mother of 2 girls.  Here’s what she has to say about her daughter’s winter holiday research project: 

I was working on my thesis while my kindergarten-age daughter was sitting with me. She was done with drawing, writing in her journal and playing with blocks. . .”Mom, what can I do now?” she pleaded.

After all my ideas were rejected with a “boring” sigh, I suggested she conduct some research.

“What is research?” she asked.

“Research is a way to get more knowledgeable on a topic,” I explained.

“But how do I do research?”

“Well,” I said, “it depends what you research about…”

“I want to research Christmas!” she exclaimed.

I immediately thought about BrainPOP Jr.’s Winter Holiday movie, and suggested she watch the movie and pause it along the way as she makes notes and/or drawings.

The result was a colorful 4-page research document about the winter holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, New-Year’s Eve and Kwanzaa). She had a blast engaging with the movie, going back and forth, reflecting on what she had learned using “color coded” text and drawing the holiday’s symbols. She found a new expression tool!

When her research was done, she announced, “Next is Animals!”