One of the things that is difficult about getting kids started on a Genius Hour project is getting them started on a Genius Hour project! Giving them the freedom to choose anything under the sun to study seems to be a little overwhelming. Even when you try to start with brainstorming their interests, they tend to be stymied by the concept of developing their own projects and not being assigned particular topics.
I’ve tasked myself this summer with my own Genius Hour project, in a way – to freshen up my resources for Genius Hour. Yesterday, I spent awhile collecting the “go to” websites I’ve been offering my students in the last year for jumpstarting their engines. Rather than give them a list, however, I decided to make the bookmarks that I have linked below. The bookmarks have QR codes to each of the sites. (I used QRPhoria, by the way, to make the codes – thanks, once again, @Adam Bellow!)
My vision is to print them out in color, laminate them, and cut them out. (I will need to do a test run to make sure the codes still scan once laminated.) I might have the students choose one based on the title (Investigate, Create, Test, Make), or just put them all in a cup and have them select blindly the first time. Then they can scan each code and look at the sites for ideas.
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of resources. And, if a student has an idea that is not on one of the websites, I will probably jump for joy, but it will hopefully show them some of the possibilities.
I am sharing links to two MS Word files – one has the QR codes, and one has the websites listed, as well as a PDF of the QR code page.
By the way, my daughter just asked me for the distinction between “Create” and “Make.” I got the idea for the titles from this excellent post on how to introduce Genius Hour (H/T to Donna L. for the link!), though I modified them a bit, and my answer to her was that “Create” means to make something original such as artwork, and “Make” means to construct something according to directions.
QR Code Genius Hour Bookmarks (MS Word)
Genius Hour Bookmarks With Links (MS Word)
QR Code Genius Hour Bookmarks (PDF)
Need more Genius Hour ideas? Check out my Genius Hour Resources page or the other posts from this week.