Winter Holiday Research Project

Posted by Andrew Gardner on

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!”