What is Genius Hour and How Can It Help Students

November 07, 2022 Tutor

As a teacher, one needs to keep up with the trendy teaching methods. Genius Hour is one of the most popular approaches that are being accepted by teachers all around the world lately. In this article, we will help our readers to know every detail of Genius Hour.

What is Genius Hour?


The Genius Hour allows students to learn based on their personal interests and curiosity. This student-directed learning is also known as Passion Pursuit. In this kind of learning, students control the whole process starting from what they learn and how they learn during a period. It encourages them to make the best use of their creative and research skills.

What is the Main Purpose of Genius Hour?


In standard learning, a teacher is in control of the lessons, methods, and planning. But, in Genius Hour, a student decides what to study, and how to do it, and is responsible for the result. Students are given enough freedom to explore, inquire, and research with a sense of responsibility. Besides, they are provided with the tools, time, and audience to encourage them to create something unique. Also, it helps to boost their self-confidence and social skills. Overall, this kind of learning helps young minds to develop strong interpersonal skills.

Here are some of the best benefits of Genius Hour:

  • Makes Learning More Exciting – unlike traditional learning, students have to explore their own interests in Genius Hour. The sense of control and freedom makes learning more exciting for them.
  • Encourages Creativity – Genius Hour allows students to be more creative in terms of learning new concepts or carrying out projects or creating results.
  • Improves Critical Thinking SkillsGenius Hour involves extensive research, gathering data, and analyzing them in order to make sense of them. This helps in improving critical thinking skills.
  • Improves Social Skills – Collaboration between different students and between teachers and students improves their social skills.
  • Improves Planning, and Execution Skills – Students have to make the best use of planning, evaluating, and creating results. This helps in improving their planning and execution skills which involve time management, analysis, and organization.

What are the 3 Rules for Genius Hour?


Since Genius Hour encourages the students to do their best through self-directed learning, it does not have any specific set of rules for the students. However, there are 3 specific rules the teachers need to explain to the students to make this learning method effective for the students.

Here are the 3 rules for Genius Hour:

  1. In order to begin, students should ask an essential question that cannot be answered simply by searching Google.
  2. There must be research or new learning to find out the answers to their question using reputable websites, interviews, and/or print resources.
  3. There must be an end-product in digital or physical form created by the students that can be shared or published.

What are the Steps of Genius Hour?


1. Sense of Purpose

Not many young people are serious enough to understand their academic responsibilities. That is why it is seen that many tend to bunk classes or neglect homework. It is important that the students understand and value education. The sense of purpose cannot be forced on anyone. Instead, it should be felt through motivation. Both students and teachers need to make learning enjoyable and purposeful so that the students can find their own sense of purpose in what they learn or create.

2. Design

Students can choose the learning materials with any design they wish. The goal has to be to make them feel a unique in-class experience with utmost flexibility and freedom.

3. Inquiry & Navigation

Genius Hour ideas are more related to inquiry-based learning. Students gather information through navigation. This involves extensive research. Once they clear their concepts, then comes more narrow inquiry and research.

4. Creating

Teachers may instruct the students to work on projects or model-making based on their hands-on experience to show the outcome of their learning.

5. Socialization

Genius Hour involves continuous interaction with teachers for planning. Also, they interact with their peers to discuss their work. This helps them to gain teamwork skills.

6. 80/20 Rule

Many teachers use Genius Hour for one hour or one class per week as a part of their curriculum. Besides, schools might go for the 80/20 rule wherein 20 percent of the time will be allotted for Genius Hour and the rest for standard teaching.

Genius Hour Ideas

The main goal of Genius Hour is to let the students explore their own interests. It is important to have a brainstorming session with the students to find out what each of them is interested in. One way to find that out is to use a “wonder wall”. A “wonder wall” is a space where students need to paste their sticky notes where they need to write the name of the problems they want to solve. The Genius Hour topics depend largely on the age and grade of the students.

Here are some of the Genius Hour Ideas:

  • Learn a new language.
  • Create a board game.
  • Start a project to plant trees.
  • Research spaceships.
  • Make a video game.
  • Make a cartoon using an online tool.
  • Create a puzzle.
  • Create a website.
  • Interview someone in your locality.
  • Teach a young kid.
  • Learn glass painting.
  • Learn photography.
  • Write a song.
  • Write a blog.
  • Write a story.
  • Take a virtual field trip to your city.
  • Plan an anti-smoking campaign.

Genius Hour is one of the best learning methods that not only help the students but also the educators. Educators can find out the strengths and weaknesses of a learner in the process. In today’s rapid and creative world, Genius Hour ideas can help students show interest in education as they enjoy the experience of finding queries and solving their answers. Their true mindset can very well be understood in these famous words by Winston Churchill – “I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

Benyam Gizaw

Benyam Gizaw is the brain behind the online tutoring app, My Tutor. His role includes taking initiative in launching the app, leading the marketing, and operations team. He is a super-optimistic and motivating thought leader who believes that knowledge has more power than anything else in this world. His mission is to create equal opportunity for receiving a proper education for all. This simple idea of spreading education globally has given birth to one of the most user-friendly educational apps.

In his own words, “Knowledge is the key to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. My Tutor is the first step towards fulfilling this mission.”

As a result-oriented, self-driven, and super-enthusiastic thought leader, he firmly believes that one can achieve his goal if he is consistent in his field of expertise and is ready to take chances in life. This positive approach towards life and work has made Benyam a unique personality. He continues to motivate his team members to give their best.

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