Genius Hour: Live, Laugh, Learn! Part 1

The opportunity lent itself, for me to explore Genius Hour with one group of our fifth graders. Given the liberty to do whatever I wanted with this group, I chose to give some of the learning back to the students after researching  Genius Hour. What is Genius Hour? During genius hour students empower themselves by exploring their own passions. In education the talk is about creativity, and you might have heard of 20% time. A.J. Juliana explains and gives valuable links in his Edutopia post After researching, I created the following presentation/lesson plan for my first class in Genius Hour: Live, Laugh, Learn! We will meet once every two weeks for an hour for the rest of the school year.

After finding out what we were going to spend the rest of the year doing in this hour, students took an active part in naming the class. Genius Hour: Live, Laugh, Learn! became their choice. I provided students with some websites like and, so they could explore and find their topic. The parameters we set were that the driving question cannot be ‘google-able’, and research has to be factual. Additionally, they need to identify who their audience is, and finally they will share their project online. I shared a Google Form( with my group of students they had to complete before the next session.

Looking at some of their responses to the form, I felt students needed some more brainstorming ideas From an amazing site of resources put together by Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr) about Genius Hour resources, I found Brainstorming Questions if Students are Stuck! Now students were ready to create their Personal Learning Plan. The enthusiasm, motivation, and grateful attitude of students makes me believe we are on the right track! The students are in charge of their learning, and will problem solve creatively. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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