Passion projects are such a great way to engage today’s learners and empower them to make connections to content, practice life-ready skills, and understand the importance of social-emotional learning. However, if we simply focus on passion and don’t prioritize purpose, the reality is that their passions will fizzle out very quickly.
So, how do we do that? How can we help learners understand that Genius Hour is about more than just creating a poster board about something that you enjoy? How can we help them understand that it goes beyond a research project and is more about doing something as a result of their passions and interests.
One solution is to help your learners determine a purpose BEFORE beginning the project. Help them identify not only what they will be learning about but also why they will be learning about it.
Below, I’ve shared four different types of projects that can help learners identify a purpose. Ask them to put their projects in one of these “buckets” to make the work that they are doing purposeful.
1.Mastery Project: A mastery project is a project will lead toward a deep understanding of how to do something.
2. Kindness Project: A kindness project is a project that will impact someone else in a positive way.
3. Innovation Project: An innovation project is a project that will result in creating something new or making something better.
4.Perspective Project: A perspective project is a project that will change your perspective or the perspective of someone else.
Utilizing these buckets will help your learners understand that there needs to be action behind the project that they are working on. It will provide clarity and something to refer back to when they become frustrated or forget their why.
It’s really important that we make purpose a priority when implementing Genius Hour in the classroom. Doing so will make the process more authentic and much more meaningful.
To learn more about this type of learning, check out my book, Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry and the Genius Hour Page on my website.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Do you think purpose is important and will these ideas make it easier to make that a reality in your classroom?
P.S. If you aren't receiving my weekly email in your inbox and you'd like to stay connected, be sure to sign up HERE!