Genius Hour Finding the Passion
To get ready for Genius Hour, students can start brainstorming some of their passions or things they care about. What would they like to learn more about? To get warmed up, students could engage in the following task:
Write one paragraph about something they are passionate about; something that they could do all day, every day and not even realize time had passed. It could be your favorite sport or hobby, or a topic that is of particular importance, like helping the environment, or ending poverty or making summer holiday longer. From this paragraph, students can then ask themselves, what could be a question that relates to their interest that they would like to explore?
To further develop student understanding of an essential question. Examine the inquiry question resources on the main page, and explore carving out the essential question. Explore with students how to carve out an essential question. Check out Langwitches blog to assist in formulating questions...
Pitching the Project
After students have explored their essential questions, it's time for them to "buy in" and commit to exploring the project. To do this, students will present an "elevator pitch" for their project.
"What is an Elevator Pitch? can be summed up as follows...
The term comes from the notion that an innovator with a great idea might find herself in an elevator with a powerful investor. She has a very short period of time to convince this investor to buy into her idea. She needs to deliver an elevator pitch.
For their Genius Hour projects, students must prepare a pitch about their Project in 30 seconds. Then deliver their pitch to the teacher in the form of a podcast (use tablet record devices) or in front of the class. It follows the model established from a video from created by Sean Wise who explains the components of an Elevator Pitch. (Adapted from Kevin Brockhouser's blog, "I think, I Teach")
Pitches Must Include the Following
Genius Hour Project Pitches Should Include to the following questions:
1. Why is it worth my time to learn about this?
2. How is it going to make a difference in the world? How will it inspire others to learn?
3. Do I realistically have the resources to learn about this?
4. Do I have the time in 8 weeks to learn about it?
5. Is my essential question or driving question too narrow or too wide?
*Keep in mind, it's okay to have lots of questions in mind after you pitch your Genius Hour Project!