Have you heard of Genius Hour?
I may be late to the game with this one, but I love this idea. The site has great ideas about how to make time in your class to have genius hour and some points to approach the idea with your administration. Some of the selling points for administrators via GeniusHour.com: no loss of class instruction, creating life-long learners, develop relationships with students, and teaching 21st century skills.
I would love to try this out with my forensics kids. An hour a week in your room for students to research whatever they are passionate about. As a group, they are the most diverse, and as a class it has the most wiggle room time wise.
Do you think that high school students could benefit from Genius Hour?
Update: I got permission to try this with my Forensics class!! I am planning on it for the 2nd 6 weeks, and re-evaluate at that point.