During my Genius Hour research, I stumbled across a great Genius Journal created by Peter Cameron that he uses with his 6th graders. I loved the idea of having a place for my students to keep all their notes and research together all in one place. However, I needed something with structure to guide my students. So I adapted the journal and created my own Genius Time Notebook for students 2nd – 5th grade.
Parts of the Genius Time Notebook
Students write down their topics and they list what they already know about their topic
I allow students some time for free research on their topic. This gives students a chance to pique their interest. When they find interesting facts, they can list them on this page. I find that allowing free research time helps students organically create inquiry questions
Students create three focus questions to guide their learning on their topic. (Students will need lots of support and help with this part in order to create open-ended, thought provoking questions).
Use one page for each question. On each note-taking page is a place for students to write down the source of information (whether a book or a website). *I discuss the importance of choosing a reliable source. Here’s an article on Scholastic about reliable sources and an anchor chart to help kids determine if a site is reliable or not.
Okay, once I had my notebook printed copied and stapled, it was time to get started! Next week I’ll have some sample Genius Hour topics.
Thanks for stopping by!