The pitch stage of Genius Hour may look different depending on how you want to manage it and how much autonomy you are able to give to the students. If you are trying to link it to the curriculum directly say in your Ancient Civilizations unit, you may give students a list of possible topics but if you are going to give them full autonomy then they must come up with their own driving question.
As I said in the previous post, you would have to do a lot of coaching on what is a non-googable question. I was reading a blog and the teacher actually said she used Siri and would ask it questions and if she got a straight answer back, then the question needed to go deeper. Blog: http://www.teachergoals.org/genius-hour-implementation-guide.html
SO with their pitch- I like to think of this part like Dragon’s Den where they are presenting their product because it kind of is like that!!!
They have to choose the mode in which they will pitch it to the class or just the teacher- google slide, prezi, poster, etc. The five guiding questions that must go into every pitch is:
- What is your question?
- Why is this your question?
- What will you make/ How will you show your learning?
- List of steps to learn and create
- What will success look like?
This model makes teachers have to “let go” a little and that can be scary. There still has to be ground rules when it comes to Genius Hour.
a) you must choose a topic
b) you must choose when you are ready to present
c) you must demonstrate your learning in a visible way
Along the way, there will be benchmarks that students are required to meet and as a classroom teacher you get to test out what will work for you. When students have purpose they are able to work diligently and in most cases you won’t have students “taking advantage” of the time provided for Genius Hour.
Some examples of good driving questions would be:
- How do the chemical properties in shampoo make your hair soft?
- How can you make a flexible and ductile glass with the different elements on the periodic table?
- What are the certain chemical similarities and differences in food groups and how do they impact the food?
- Why and how does music affect your mood?