Friday, January 10, 2014

Not a Box Genius Hour -- Week 1

We were surprised this week, when our teacher added something new to our schedule -- Genius Hour.  We had so many questions about it but she told us we would just have to wait and see.  We were quite surprised to find out that our principal is going to also be teaching us during Genius Hour.  This week, we did Genius Hour on two different days and for many of us, it was the best part of the week.  Here's what we worked on...

Day 1
7. ALBERT EINSTEIN: Everybody is a genius
Photo Credit: Zen Pencils

We started out by reading this quote and talking about what a genius is.  Here are some of our thoughts...

Then our principal read us the book "Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis. 
Photo Credit: Amazon
In the book, a bunny uses a box in lots of different ways.  On each page, we predicted what we thought the box was.

On this page, we thought...
- it's "Bunny Liberty" (Landon)
- it's bunny President--"Barack O Bunny" (Tristan)
But, actually it was the bunny climbing a mountain!

On this page, we thought...
- he's a robot (Breanna)
- he's wearing a space suit and going to the moon (Chacie)

On this page, we thought...
- he's on the Titanic, looking for the iceberg (Logan)
- he's in a war tank (Kade)
Throughout the book, the bunny kept saying that "it's not a box!"  He always used his imagination and would think of creative things the box could be.

In our next activity, all of us were given a few different rectangles and squares.  We were challenged to glue them into our Genius Hour notebook and turn them into our own "not a box".  We could draw, add details and write about our "not a box".  Here is some of our work...

One of our classmates tells you about his "not a box" and what the book is about.

What an awesome start to this project...we are loving it already!

Day 2
To start our lesson today, we reviewed the story by watching this video.

Then we had some fun acting out all of the things the bunny imagined the box was.  Here we are climbing a mountain...

Then we had to be a firefighter...

Being robots was next...

Next, we talked about what the phrase "think outside the box" means.  It was a good conversation that involved these ideas...
The song, "Think Outside the Box" also gave us other ideas about what this phrase means.

In the last part of the lesson, we were all given a Dr. Seuss book.  He definitely "thinks outside of the box" and we looked at the pictures to find examples of this.  We then got to share what we found with the class.  In this video, one of our classmates tells about the picture she found.

We can't wait for next week's Genius Hour "Not a Box" lessons!

We were wondering...

Have you read this book before?
What would your "not a box" be?
How do you "think outside the box"?


  1. Tanya, I LOVE this book! I have never seen it before, but you can bet I'll be sharing it with my 7th graders! Thanks for sharing your story, pics, and videos for all to learn from. Of course, I have to add this to the "How to Get Started" tab on the Genius Hour LiveBinder - what a great introduction to the habitude of creativity. Thank you again for sharing!

  2. Hey grade 3's!! It's Miss V. I absolutely loved reading about your two genius hours from last week! How cool is having Ms. Cooper-Shand teaching your class!? I think you are all extraordinary geniuses and I can't wait to see what you do in your next genius hour! See you soon! :)

  3. I like the picture of the not a box's because it unique that you can mank thing out of box's.

  4. I like the picture of the not a box's because you can make things with them.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I have a better idea on how I can begin implementation of GH with my 3rd graders.


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