7th September 2020
Creative Homework Ideas
How can you create homework assignments that build on the day’s lessons and encourage creative, student-led learning? It’s a challenge for most teachers, especially as motivating pupils to complete homework can add a whole extra layer to your lesson plans. But it’s essential to bridge the gap between teacher and student learning – the skills gained through independent study reinforces knowledge from your class, as well as a host of other benefits:
- Extended learning time – outside of the constraints of the school day, students are free to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.
- Independent learning – vital skills for exam preparation and higher education
- Teaches students to be resourceful and to overcome challenges independently.
- Gives students the freedom to be creative in their learning, gain valuable problem-solving skills and confidence in their own abilities.
Tips For Setting Creative Homework
- Plan independent learning both in and out of the classroom – you can monitor students effectiveness and address issues that may arise in the classroom before they become problematic for pupils at home.
- Don’t leave homework assignment to the end of the lesson, rushing through the task might leave some students confused which inevitably leads to a lower homework completion rate. Write plenty of time for explaining homework assignments into your lesson planning – read our Beginner’s Guide To Lesson Planning here
- Homework should to not too easy nor not too hard, offering pupils a challenge that reinforced the topics learnt during the day
- Give room for creative expression – allowing students to add their own diagrams, decorations or chose their own project topics from a selection.
- Try using peer or self-assessment to mark homework – a double whammy of reducing your workload and allowing pupils to take control of their own learning.
- Include timings and explicit steps for completing more complicated assignments, especially for pupils that you anticipate might struggle. Comprehension of the task is the biggest hurdle in getting pupils to work on an independent basis.
- Self-driven projects, posters, creative tasks and research are more exciting than standard comprehension tasks and might encourage pupils that find sitting and writing dull or hard to complete the homework set – give students the freedom to learn and be creative in their home study.
- Provide specific instructions and internet safety reminders for research-led assignments. It’s very easy for children to find research overwhelming with a vast amount of information available online. Provide suggested websites and links in your homework to keep things on track!
- Don’t introduce a new topic for homework – keep it to topics that you’ve already covered in class
- Taking note of the subjects that excite and engage your class and set homework accordingly – try keeping dryer topics and for the classroom so that you can monitor engagement
- Mark work promptly – essential to keep students motivated to complete work in their own time!
- Offering students the opportunity to select the homework that they would like to do from a selection guarantees a higher rate of completion. We’ve seen some teachers create grids or sheets of homework assignments for the pupils to select, or offer baskets of activities for younger children to take home and complete with an adult.
Creative Homework Ideas For All Ages
Coming up with innovative ways for students to reinforce their knowledge at home can be difficult – many of these ideas would be suitable for lots of subjects with a little tweaking!
- Create a board game
- Complete a quiz – you could also ask students to write the quiz in groups and then swap and complete for homework
- Write a lesson plan for teaching the topic to a younger class
- Teach the teacher – create a poster,
- Complete a series of exercises
- Complete a family tree, real or imaginary
- Use real-world scenarios to build life skills and reinforce knowledge – adding up a shopping list and seeing how close you are is a great example!
- Build a medieval castle in Minecraft or other sandbox game
- Film a short video in the style of a YouTuber on the chosen topic
- Flour (or Egg!) Babies for older children. Look out for the book Flour Babies by Anne Fine
- Go on a treasure hunt to find a list of locations or objects
- Bake a cake or create a recipe using ingredients from a certain era or country
- Write a blog post on a topic of their choice for the school website or class blog