The genius hour approach is an exciting way to allow your students to think outside of the box. This approach will make their normal soccer practices much more exciting.
Genius Hour is a concept for those unfamiliar with the term where you give students one hour each week dedicated to independent learning and directed instruction.
In this article, I will go over the following;
• Genius Hour Rules
• New Ideas To Try During Soccer
• Suggestions For Future Genius Hour
The idea behind this would be that students are given enough freedom at school during normal hours that they should be able to come up with creative ideas on what to do during their genius hour time period.
What are The Three Genius Hour Rules?
When attempting to run a genius hour in the classroom, you must dedicate quite a few rules. The main rules are as follows:
Start With an Essential Question
The first and most important rule is that students must define an essential question before beginning their project. This means that it has to be something that the student wants to answer more than anything else.
Once they have done so, they will need to explain it to come up with the same answer. Also, students need to explain why this question is important and how it will help them.
The next rule is that students must gather extensive research on the subject.
This means they need to go out and find as much information as possible, whether through talking with experts, using electronic sources like the internet, or spending time in their local library.
Once this is done, they will need to choose which parts of the answers apply to what they want answers for.
The third and final rule is that students must create something based on the research they have collected. This could be anything from a poem to an essay, all the way up to a new technology invention.
Once this has been done, students will need to present their work in front of other classmates.
It is important to note that these rules are just the basics. There may be more specific rules for your school or even certain classrooms. You will need to establish what you feel would work best for your students.
New Genius Hour Ideas
When thinking about this, we decided to come up with some new ideas that might make future soccer practices more exciting.
Everybody knows that having a fitness goal for an upcoming soccer season is always a good way to be proactive and ensure your players reach their full potential.
However, it can get pretty boring having the same monotonous fitness tests over and over again. Here are some ideas you might want to try:
The Soccer Drill Challenge:
This is similar to an obstacle course challenge in which players will have to compete against each other in different soccer drills.
The winner could either receive a prize or just bragging rights for being the best at fitness-related activities.
Soccer Dribbling Races:
This is usually done with cones but could also be done with players. You will need to have a course where the first player has to dribble around the cones several times without stopping or touching any of them.
The player will then have to turn around and do it again in the opposite direction.
The Soccer Speed Chase:
Many variations of this can work well for your team. Just make sure you keep things fair because there needs to be a clear winner each round.
Creativity Related genius Ideas
One thing that can be fun is to encourage your students to get creative with their soccer-related assignments. This can take many forms, but here are some ideas you might want to consider:
Design a New Soccer Ball
You will need to divide the class into different design teams for this activity. From there, they will have to use materials provided by you to create a new type of soccer ball.
You may or may not require them to provide evidence of where the inspiration for their idea comes from, so make sure you discuss this beforehand.
Once they are done creating their soccer balls, they must explain the reasoning behind every aspect of it so everyone can understand its purpose and how it works.
Create a Soccer Game in Minecraft:
This can be done by using computers or laptops. You will need to set up one computer with the game and ensure all students are familiar with how it works before starting.
Once everything is ready, each student must create an aspect of the game (for example, what type of ball will be used, where it starts on the field, etc.)
You can then choose which aspects go into the actual game for everybody else to enjoy.
Design a New Uniform for Your Team:
Most uniforms look pretty much the same these days, so you might want to encourage your students to get creative when designing their uniforms.
For this activity, you will need two different designs from two separate groups, and they must vote on which one is better.
If possible, you should try to implement this activity at the end of each soccer season so they can see how much their uniforms have evolved and given them a sense of continuity and pride in their work.
Here are some other ideas that may or may not be related to soccer:
Create Your Soccer Team Mascot:
You will need students from your class to create a mascot character for your team that is unique in every way but still manages to represent your school/team name.
Students will need to think about what type of animal it will be, the purpose behind its design, what materials would be needed to make it, etc.
Design a New Soccer Anthem
This type of activity is great because you can reinforce important concepts to your students while enabling them to have fun at the same time.
You will need to create an anthem for your team first and then work on their versions afterward.
They must describe what emotions they want people to feel when listening to the song, where they want people to be singing it (for example; before or after games).
Any other relevant information that will help create a strong sense of identity among all members of the team, etc.
Create Your Mascot Dance:
Most mascots have some dance associated with them, so this could prove very helpful in reinforcing student knowledge of things they learned before.
You will need first to choose a mascot and then create the dance yourself, so it is easy for your class to follow along.
After that, each student can work on creating their version of the dance by themselves or in groups of 2-3 students.
They should focus on why they chose certain movements and how they represent some aspect of their mascot character/team name.
Design a New Stadium:
This activity requires you to create a stadium and subsequently allow your students to design it however they see fit (you can make restrictions if you like, but this option is more flexible).
Students must think about what type of place it will be (are there going to be any safety precautions?), what role it will have in the community (for example, will visitors be allowed to attend games?), what type of seating will be available, etc.
The more discussions you have with your students beforehand, the better it will turn out.
Create a Routine for Cheering Mascot:
This is another activity that might require some prior brainstorming from your class so they know exactly what steps they should take when creating this routine.
You can begin by letting them create their version of a cheering mascot and then having everybody vote on who is the best.
Afterward, each student must think about ways to improve their original routine and make adjustments accordingly.
They can even try performing their routines for small audiences beforehand to get feedback and make any necessary changes.
Design an Award to Give Out Each Season:
This is a very simple activity that will require you to create something small enough for students to carry it around with them at all times. This award can be given out at the end of each season.
The design must reflect the consensus of your class on some specific aspects of their playing experience (for example, creativity, teamwork, improvement, attitude, etc.).
There are many ways in which you could go about this, so feel free to get creative!
Unique Suggestions For Future Genius Hour
Design a New Soccer Shirt Design:
You can begin by drawing attention to your soccer team’s shirt’s current design and where the inspiration behind it came from.
Next, students must pick their groups/teams so they can brainstorm ideas for their new designs.
They should focus on what colors they want to incorporate into the design, how the design will be applied to different shirts (jerseys, warmups, etc.), and which parts of the shirt are most important when used in in-game situations, etc.
Create Your Own Sports Blog:
If you like this activity, feel free to try it out because it will engage your students as they create the content for their blogs.
If you’re having difficulty finding ideas, you could introduce them to popular sports blogs and have them brainstorm some ideas beforehand.
Design an Inexpensive Piece of Equipment:
This activity requires a bit more thought because it involves specific criteria that must be met.
You can start by asking students what types of equipment are currently being used in practices, which pieces might need replacing, etc.
After that, each student/group should develop several options before narrowing down the list to one final piece.
Learn About the History of Soccer:
This is another activity that might require some prior discussion between students before getting started.
You can begin by showing them various soccer references throughout history, perhaps having them read about it in a book/online source, etc.
Create Your Own Sports Equipment Company:
Depending on how serious you want this to be, you might have your students decide which type of equipment their company will focus on beforehand.
Keep in mind that there should be an appropriate amount of variation between each design idea.
Design an Advertisement for Soccer Equipment:
Like the previous activity, this one requires some discussion beforehand so students can develop ideas on what to include/exclude from their advertisements.