This year my teaching partner and I had the students display their information on cubes. We used similar questions, but required the addition of a portrait and a map of the explorer's route.
Original post (May 2015)
This school year, I changed how I teach explorers and the culminating assignment for the unit. I created notebooks and the forms shown below. Students read articles and text books and answered the questions in their notebooks.
I taught them about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Wants and we used that to look at the reasons explorers travelled.
Finally, I used my five paragraph essay forms -- available here -- to write about what they had learned. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs were about how explorers generally met needs and wants. The three detail paragraphs were about specific explorers.
This was a successful fourth grade research project.