Genius Hour: Passion Project for Inquiry-Based Learning



Project-based learning at its best! Your students will love to work on their Genius Hour Passion Projects and you will save time with this no-prep package (+ EDITABLE copy) and bulletin board set. Genius Hour lets students choose their topic of interest then research and present their final product. Maximize differentiation, creativity and innovation!




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Project-based learning at its best! Your students will love to work on their ‘Be an Expert’ passion projects and you will save time with this no-prep package (+ EDITABLE copy) and bulletin board set. Genius Hour lets students choose a topic of interest and create a presentation.

Passion projects for students are an incredible way to increase engagement and motivation with a naturally differentiated and creative project.



✪ PDF files for easy printing and computer compatibility
✪ Link to editable Google Slides version
✪ Easily share the Google Slides version for distance learning or virtual classrooms
✪ Link to Prezi to introduce the idea of Genius Hour

This is an engaging independent project that incorporates all strands of Language Arts Curriculum (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, Media Literacy) as well as other content areas depending on the student’s chosen topic.

Be an Expert (also called Genius Hour or Passion Project) is a type of research project that requires inquiry-based thinking and learning while allowing the students to learn more about anything that is of interest to them.

This is a great way to engage students’ interests and creativity while learning!  Students spend time researching a topic they are interested in and develop a creative, meaningful way to share it within their community or world at large.



⇧  ⇧   Please download the detailed PREVIEW to get a clear idea of what you can expect with your purchase   ⇧  ⇧

✔ Teacher Notes – 3 pages including ideas to introduce, implement and assess with a list of possible expectations addressed (Ontario Curriculum)
✔ Student Pages – 12 pages of handouts and printables to be completed by students in their planning, research, presentation and reflecting phases.
✔ Bulletin Board Set – includes headings, subheadings, helpful research links and ideas for student presentation.
✔ PREZI introduces and explains Genius Hour with videos and a quick brainstorming activity.

Pretty much everything you need to get started with passion projects in elementary!



✏️  Start with the Prezi to get students excited!
✏️  Introduce early so students can start brainstorming
✏️  Have students post their inquiry questions on the bulletin board
✏️  First, teach Questioning as a reading comprehension strategy to strengthen student understanding of types of questions
✏️  Use the framework for inquiry projects in any subject area!



⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This was a really helpful resource for getting my Genius Hour and Passion Projects going.  I had so many questions and your product helped. ” – Kathryn V.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “ This was an excellent purchase! Easy to use and my students found it very engaging! Thank you!” – Jordan N.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “My students who finish tasks earlier pull out this package and work on it, they love it and it keeps them on task and organized!”  – TPT Seller


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Copyright © Past the Potholes Ltd. All rights reserved.

This item is bound by copyright laws under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Teachers may share with their own students in class or through password-protected sites only (for example, Google Classroom).

Permission is for single classroom use only. Please purchase discounted additional licenses if you intend to share this product.

File Type

EDITABLE, Google Apps (via PDF link), PDF

Grade Level

Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

Resource Type




Download Details

This resource is a Zip file.  You must first unzip the contents of the file to access the content using Winzip or a similar program.

Included files:
– PDF with link to EDITABLE Google Slides version of project pages – just make a copy!

* * You need a free Google account to access this resource.  It is best to use a personal Google account as some school districts block outside files * *


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Q: Can I edit the file?
A: Yes!  There is a link to make a copy of the Google Slides file of the handouts that you can edit as you need.  Please note, the bulletin board set is not currently editable.

Q: I don’t teach ELA.  Can I still use this resource?
A: Sure!  While there is a lot of Literacy work inherent to the project, it can also cover content from Science, Social Studies, History, Geography, The Arts… even Math!

Q: My students aren’t working at grade 4-8 levels.  Will this project still work for me?
A: Definitely.  You may want to make small tweaks to the wording/content of the worksheets, or even remove some steps to simplify the task, but Be An Expert is easily modified.

Q: I’m teaching online.  Can I adapt this to distance learning?
A: Absolutely!  The Google Slides file can easily be shared through a secure digital classroom for students to edit or share the PDF.  

NOTE: you may NOT share this through a non-secure online platform that would make it available to the public.



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