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Passion Projects Part 2

As my students floundered to decide on a topic, I revisited the website I mentioned in then previous post–keepemthinking.com. I went back to use the book she suggested Junkyard Wonders. Whether this helped students pick a “passion” or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the book had a very powerful message about pursuing what matters to you and how it can pave the way for a successful future. I had planned to show it over two class periods because it is a long story, but the students really wanted to hear the second part, so I acquiesced.

The students made the connection from the book to the project without me saying much except for “why do you think I showed you this?” I used her idea for a project proposal. Finally the project started to take shape. Those students who wouldn’t commit to a topic before were now committing. The fact that I make them have everything laid out, that they have to create a “burning question”, and that we both sign off on it leads to their committal. Then when they think about changing ideas, they aren’t allowed to because we signed and committed.

I love the Wonderopolis website she suggests, too! What a wealth of curiosities to help students settle on a question. Make sure you check out this website!

I am sure that the author of this blog has a quality passion project unit. I probably would have bought it if I hadn’t already bought two other people’s resources. What I did like about the other resources, however, is that they had plenty of space for brainstorming. I also like that they had a place for students to check in with one another. Instead of all my students checking in with me, they are telling each other the progress they made. No one wants to tell someone else they accomplished nothing so this becomes affective. I love it!

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