Through my work in education, I have found that is is extremely important to either have a working knowledge of new things you ask of your students, but to also try new things yourself. Here are examples of products I have created, and even some examples of my students’ work, over the years.
This sample movie poster, created as an alternative book report, reflects the mood and some of the themes of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins.
Created during my Master's studies, this example is of a multi-genre research project where one creates a variety of writings in different genres (letters, articles, poems, etc.) that connect to one central text.
Here is an example of an item a student might do as an "ABR" or Alternative Book Report. This was a bookmark filled with information based upon the book "Rules" by Cynthia Lord.
Another Alternative Book Report option is to construct a sample horoscope for the major characters within the novel.
Here are some examples of work my students have created. Below is a showcase primarily of Genius Hour projects, which are also called 20% time or problem-based learning, which I conducted with my students twice during the 2014-2015 school year. These projects were ones where the students chose a topic of interest, created a guiding question to answer, and designed the project so that in its presentation, they would showcase what they had learned.
Alex D.-“How to Make an Epic Movie Trailer”
In this Genius Hour project created at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Alex decided to look at what common things occur between the movie trailers for epic films. The result was informative and extremely humorous.
Maria A.-“Customizing Clothing”
Maria took a moment to look at ways of customizing and changing clothing for her Genius Hour project in the second semester of the 2014-2015 school year. This was a departure from her previous project which focused upon the creation of her favorite native Brazilian dish, Pao de Queijo.
Nicole J.- “Stop Bullying”
In the first semester, Nicole created a parody video of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” In the second semester, she opted to create a video addressing the very real issue of bullying in school for her second Genius Hour project. This video is one that will be used at ECMS next year as a beginning-of-the-year video.
Christian G. & Quincy L.- “How to Play Soccer”
Best friends Christian and Quincy decided to combine forces in creating a “how-to” video on their favorite sport, soccer. This Genius Hour project resulted in a humorous and inventive video for soccer rookies.
Anna C.-“The Physics of a Pirouette”
Anna is a accomplished dancer and that theme has been the common thread among both of her Genius Hour projects. After her mini-documentary “Life on Pointe” last semester, this semester, she decided to look at the science behind the execution of all parts of a pirouette. Her video demonstrates true cross-curricular learning.
Kellen B.-“How to Make a Short Film”
Kellen teamed up with his friend Penn to co-star in his example of the creation of a short film. After creating a PowerPoint presentation with all that he had learned of the process, he created this short film as an example of those key film techniques he learned for his Genius Hour project.
Elizabeth M.-“DIY Melted Crayon Art”
Elizabeth delved into her creative side by showing what it would take to create melted crayon art for her Genius Hour project. She utilized time-lapse video to show her going through each step.