What’s the Big Idea?
This book report was one of the most engaging and rewarding assignments I gave throughout the year. This presentation style has become a mainstay of my curriculum and is a reinterpretation of my Festival of Living Geniuses project (which is also for sale in my store).
The inspiration for this project came from the idea of Genius Hour. Many of you have heard of that or have used it in your classroom already. Since I teach in a dual curriculum day school, I have anywhere from 2.5-3 hours a day to teach an entire general studies curriculum (math, language arts, and social studies). I simply didn't have time to implement Genius Hour in the way it was meant to be executed, but I still wanted to give my students an enriching experience. In this version of the project, students’ research was directly tied to social studies content. The majority of the project was done at home and the culminating Festival was a huge school event for parents and intermediate grades.
The Festival of Living Inventors
I centered my students’ research around inventors from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. On the day of the Festival of Living Inventors, the students arrived dressed as their inventors with a handmade version of the invention. I also gave bonus points to students who came with other related props and pictures. For example, one student had a taste-testing booth comparing granula of old to granole of today. Each student had button on his/her hand. They stood throughout the “museum” as statues, and when a visitor came around and pressed their button, they sprang to life and expertly informed on their topic. As soon as the person walked away, the statues became still until they were visited again.
Included are directions, invention choices from 19th-21st century, and student packet. The student packet contains step-by-step instructions, a pacing guide, rubric, and a Save the Date for the Festival.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out at my store or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.