Genius Hour

Explore your passion during Genius Hour!

What is Genius Hour?

What is Genius Hour?  Genius Hour allows students to explore their passions. For one hour a week, they read, research, plan and design their passion projects. Students can take on any topics they are passionate about.  They will create projects to share with the class, the school, and the world!

Objective: Students will be able to use critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity to solve inquiry based questions. Students can use this time learn about their interests, desires, or just things they wonder about. 

Rationale: May gifted students demonstrate a sense of general "inquiry" as well as a passion for learning about topics of interest. Inquiry is a process used to build an understanding of the natural world, and although young students rarely discover knowledge that is new to humankind, current research indicates that students engaged in inquiry build knowledge new to themselves. In this unit, students are offered the opportunity to identify a personal area of interest, and provided the class time to research that interest to build new knowledge for themselves. The concept behind the Genius Hour class is twofold: 1) provides an environment for respecting curiosity, supporting independence, fostering creativity, and balancing action and reflection, and 2) meets the needs of gifted students who benefit from opportunities to independently identify and focus on passion areas yet work at their own achievement level.

Core Curriculum:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2a Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2b Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
ELA-Literacy.W.5.2c Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards above.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Measurable Learner Objectives:
  • gather, organize, and analyze data relevant to an independently chosen research project.
  • develop questions and ideas to initiate and refine research conduct research to
  • answer questions and evaluate information and idea
  • use technological tools and other resources to locate, select and organize information
  • plan and make a written, oral and visual presentation for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Review and revise communications to improve accuracy and clarity

First Quarter:Students will create "I Wonder" questions and post them on the "I Wonder Bulletin Board." They will answer the questions that can be easily solved by searching the Internet. All other questions will be placed in the "Research Project" spot on the board. Those questions will be used for passion projects.

Second Quarter: Students will choose a topic to research and create a product/presentation.
Genius Hour Class 2 PDF 
Genius Hour Planning Sheet
Genius Hour Rubric

Product Possibilities:
  • Exhibit Board
  • "How To" Video
  • Webpage with Google Sites
  • Blog
  • Prezi/Google Presentation/Glog
  • Demonstration
  • Play/Skit
  • Oral Presentation
  • Model
  • Prototype
  • Screencast using Screencastify
  • SeeSaw Digital Portfolio
  • Other:  Get approval from your teacher.

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Jennifer Hawkins,
Jul 20, 2015, 8:49 AM
Jennifer Hawkins,
Jul 20, 2015, 8:49 AM