Genius Hour

Lesson 1 -
Gather information & brainstorm


1. Understand what the structure of Genius Hour should be.
2. Acquire all needed resources to begin GH in your classroom.

EW-Genius Hour-Be the Change

You are Your First Source for Ideas:

  1. Choose an interest you have that you want to learn more about. (hobbies, sports, geographical locations, crafts, skills, etc.)
  2. Pick a topic or issue that directly affects you or someone close to you in a positive way. (recycling, conservation efforts, dog parks, clean beaches, etc.)
  3. Think about a topic or issue that directly affects you or someone close to you in a negative way. (illness, disorder, health issue, dirty beaches, lack of parks, etc.)
  4. Think of your average day from the moment you wake until the moment you sleep. Walk your life in your mind from the beginning of the day (eating breakfast, brushing teeth) to the end (coming home from a sports activity, completing homework) What topics come to mind? Jot all ideas down. See if that brings up topics or issues that interest you.

Lesson 2 -
Types of questions, selecting a driving question,  & digital contract

Create 1 question that you believe can be answered quickly on Google and 1 that you believe can NOT be answered

Types of Questions:

Solve a Problem: There’s a real-world predicament with multiple solutions.

  • Design a better lunch menu for our school.

Educational: The purpose of the project is to teach others.

  • Create a campaign to teach senior citizens how to use an iPad.

Convince Others: Students persuade a specified audience to do something or change their opinions.

  • Create a public service announcement (PSA) that persuades teens to avoid texting and driving.

Opinion: Students need to consider all sides of an issue in order to form and justify their opinions.

  • Should pets be allowed to attend class?

Divergent: Students make predictions about alternative timelines and scenarios.

  • What if Rosa Parks gave up her seat?
  • Sources-

Lesson 3 -
To trust or not to trust, that is the question.
Depend on R.E.A.L & Easybib equals THE EASY BUTTON.

You must have completed this Google form before you can use digital resources.

Let's try 2 different sites, they are on the internet so they must be true, right?

Information provided by our lovely librarian, Mrs. Brown

Read the URL: 1. What is the domain name? Do you recognize it? 2. What is the extension in the domain name?

Examine the content: 1. Ask questions about what you are reading. 2. What is the quality of the website information?

Ask about the author and the owner: 1. Look for the author’s name. 2. Is there any contact or biographical information about the author?

Look at the links:1. What are the URLs of the link? 2. Do the domain names change?

The REAL process comes from Alan November in his book Web Literacy for Educators. November, Alan C. Web Literacy for Educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2008. Print.

Easybib resources from our LTC Mrs. Berndt

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Lesson 4 -
Learn something new by researching your interests

You will have a group to rely on first. Each class will be split into 3 sections. I will meet with each group for ten minutes of every research meeting. If you have a question you will post it on the parking lot or wait to ask it when I meet with your group.


Researcher's pledge
Repeat after me!

  • This will not be easy!
  • Answers will not just appear!
  • I will need to read A LOT!
  • I will have to search multiple sources!
  • I will have to verify that my source is reliable!
  • It will take time!
  • Spelling can effect my results!
  • I will use EasyBib to collect my information.
  • I will ask others BEFORE I go to Mrs. Brown. I will work hard.

Skipping this until we have an LMS
Calendaring & Blogging

Lesson 5 -
Paraphrasing is not a choice & Evaluating yourself

How do I paraphrase someone's work that is not my own?

1. Readers read the text.

2. Stop and think about what they have read.

3. Retell in your own words.

Fill out proposal sheet- discuss the difference between GH & topic based research products

Go research with your partner & I will meet with my groups!

Lesson 6
Pulling what matters & Using the text information to create your product

Desire + Time + Effort = SUCCESS

1. Navigate to the Symbaloo

2. Select a search engine

3. Open my Easybib

4. Found tons of articles ?????

Now what?

Used National Geographic site searched panda and found this:

High in dense bamboo forests in the misty, rainy mountains of southwestern China lives one of the world's rarest mammals: the giant panda, also called the panda. Only about 1,000 of these black-and-white relatives of bears survive in the wild.
Pandas eat almost nothing but bamboo shoots and leaves. Occasionally they eat other vegetation, fish, or small animals, but bamboo accounts for 99 percent of their diets. Pandas eat fast, they eat a lot, and they spend about 12 hours a day doing it. The reason: They digest only about a fifth of what they eat. Overall, bamboo is not very nutritious.

Now I need to paraphrase in my Easybib. What should I write?

They are endangered but based on what we read what should I take from article?

Lesson 7
Creating the product in NEW ways and prepare to present orally

Ask yourself how do I want to share with others what I learned and create/make a representation of your GENIUS!

Take 2 minutes to share with a partner what method or tool you are thinking  of using to present your GH product.

Student tools that have been created for your success

  1. Google doc or presentation
  2. Video submission
  3. Powtoon
  4. Animoto
  5. TACKK
  6. Tri fold or poster
  7. TED videoing
  8. Movie -Windows =Movie Maker on Ipad = Imovie
  9. Web page

Lesson 8
The final countdown to
"Hard work Paying OFF!"

We have, we have brainstormed

We have, we have created questions

We have, we have researched

We have, we have struggled

We have, we have created

NOW WHAT... It's your time to show off what happens when you work hard to accomplish something you want.

When prepping your speaking parts or speech, what should you say? Discuss with the person next to you. What will people be interested in?

  1. What did you investigate or learn about?
  2. Why did you select your topic?
  3. What did you learn?
  4. Explain what you are sharing.
  5. What did you learn from this experience? What will you research next year in Genius Hour?

Looking at the map you know that many people will be talking at the same time. What are the keys to being a strong speaker at the Expo?

Good speakers-

  • Make eye contact
  • Speak confidently and loud
  • Pace themselves
  • Use gestures
  • Prep their tools (including technology)
  • Field questions

Try it now with a partner.
Spend the next 2 weeks, preparing for your EXPO!

Teacher resources-

Teacher Created Activities

Inspired by this book