Genius Hour

BEST District of the EVSC - February 23, 2017

Genius Hour

The idea of Genius Hour is for students to spend time exploring interests. Students get experience learning how to learn on their own. The goal is they will become lifelong learners pursuing knowledge of things that fascinate them.

Four Components to Genius Hour:

1. Defining A Question - The goal is to come up with a question that is Non-Googleable.

  • Spend some time before initiating Genius Hour on Googleable and Non-Googleable Questions and search skills. (See Description Below).
  • Have them write up a proposal for their genius hour project. Remember, they start with a proposal, and that allows you to help make adjustments based on time and student needs. Here is an example of a project proposal.

2. Conducting Research - Let students research.
  • Teach them to create notes or a blog on the progress of their project. This does not have to be formal, but teaches them to reflect! A Google Doc will work well here.

3. Product Creation - Students create a product. This can be a project, presentation, blog, infographic, video, or other option. Question them along the way, guide them, but let them work through the productive struggle. There is no such thing as failure, only reflection and moving to the next step.

4. Share Products - Give students an audience. If possible, more than you and/or your classroom. All of us are the same in that we want to know that we matter!
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Consider the Following:

  • Start small, but make it part of your lesson plans for the week. Try an hour a week, if that is all you can work in.
  • There are a lot of ideas out there about Genius Hour. Research and create an environment that works for you.

Daniel Watson, M.Ed.

BEST Attendance District of the EVSC

Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Evansville, IN