Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started. Join the course to learn more.

Research using secondary sources

Pupils need to learn the skills of research and to look critically at the evidence found. They use this information to answer questions that are difficult to answer through classroom investigation. Examples of secondary sources are: reference books, photographs, internet searches and visitors.


In key stage 1 (age 5-7) when children are identifying animals they could be challenged to solve a ‘crime’ investigation and match an animal to its paw print, the food it has eaten and the poo it leaves behind. They would need to complete some research on the given animals to find the one that matched the evidence found.

In the topic Earth and Space there are a number of challenging concepts that are impossible to replicate within a primary school investigation. The children could research how much they would weigh on Mars or how long a Jupiter day was.

In the discussion below can you add any good research activities that you have completed or would like to try.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre