Krebs' Class Blogs

Constructing, creating, communicating, collaborating, and thinking critically in grade 5.

History Genius Hour


The end of a semester calls for our next genius hour. Eighth grade history students will pick any topic or time in history they would like to explore, research, or compare with another time. They can choose a topic about which they want to question, read, or present.

The rules are simple:

  1. Be a genius! That is, be creative and productive.
  2. Topic: Anything in United States history.
  3. Record your learning in a way that it can be shared digitally (video, photos, blog post, or something else)
  4. Check the rubric, for you will be asked to honestly evaluate your own work.
  5. Be ready the next day to present to the class what you have created and produced.

Since our high school is taking semester tests, we again have been given some longer time frames to work with. On Tuesday, students will have two hours for genius hour activities. On Wednesday, we will have one hour for presentations.

Students, as you prepare, consider these possibilities for Genius Hour:

  1. Ask a question you care about and find the answer.
  2. Check out what’s been happening in current affairs–maybe Occupy Wall Street since we made our wiki.
  3. Did you learn something about one of the presidents that sparked an interest?
  4. Keep your ideas small enough for a two-hour time slot. (For instance, don’t think of World War II for your topic, but perhaps you want to learn about the KA-BAR knife adopted by the Marines in November 1942.)
  5. Make something to show something you’ve learned or you are passionate about in history.

Resources – Check out Iowa AEA Online for great history sources.

Here are some websites that you may consider for presenting:

Good luck, everyone!

Author: Denise Krebs

I'm the chief learner in life's adventure.


  1. I like your blog it gave me an idea for genius hour in our class. 🙂

  2. my question was how long my favorite foods have been around

  3. then I picked the time toast (timeline) and made one

  4. Bridget,
    That sounds great! You had a problem to solve, you researched and found the answer, and then you presented your findings in a publication. It sounds very much like what a pro does! I guess that’s because you were a pro when you did that project.

    Mrs. Krebs

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