My students are now in their 6th week of Passion Projects, and I am no longer worried. My students are all engaged in their projects, inspired by their own unique interests and while extending their learning. I have students creating step-by-step guides who struggle with organization and flow in their writing. I have reluctant learners cruising websites and You Tube videos for information on Outer Space. I have students who struggle to be advocates for themselves as learners beginning to excel and glow with confidence at the products they have created.
As for curriculum, my students are meeting many English Language Arts outcomes in an authentic way. To name a few, students are reflective writing, using research skills and presenting orally – all outcomes arising out of differentiated instruction.
When I watch them working on their projects, I feel as if they have all taken a leadership approach to their own education. They are asking the questions, finding the answers, taking action, and then asking more questions. When I watch this TED talk with Adora Svitak http://www.ted.com/talks/adora_svitak I felt this was very relevant to the importance of what is achieved using a Passion Projects/Genius Hour approach. Students need to be given trust to lead. Students need to know that their individual efforts and ideas are valued.