Setting appropriate homework tasks is a big part of your teaching role. Setting homework is an opportunity to ensure that your students have absorbed the lesson and can apply what they've learnt to individual study. Homework allows students to reflect on your teachings and broaden their understanding of a particular subject or topic.
However, motivating your class to view homework this way might be something of a challenge! Most young people find settling down to complete homework outside of school hours challenging. If the task feels overwhelming or difficult or seems monotonous, they might just go through the motions of getting it done rather than giving it their full energy and attention and completing it the best they can.
So how can you ensure students' love of learning continues outside the classroom and that they not only give their all to completing homework but actually enjoy it too?
By getting creative with the work you set and thinking about how you can engage and motivate students to complete their homework, you will undoubtedly see better results.
Here are some excellent homework ideas to help encourage creative, student-led learning.
Exciting, engaging homework ideas to keep your students paying attention
Write their own lesson plan
If you want to give your students a chance to step into your shoes for the day, why don't you ask them to create their own lesson plan around a topic they've learnt about or are about to learn? This will give them a chance to showcase their knowledge, do research and think creatively. You'll also learn more about how your students like to work and what would make a good lesson from their perspective, which could help inform how you shape your lessons in the future.
Write a speech or story from a different perspective
If your students are learning about a famous historical figure or studying a classic text, why not get them to think about different perspectives? You could ask them to embody someone influential from a particular period or a character from a play or story and write a speech or story from that person's point of view.
Create a board game
Gamification is always a fun idea to try to inject energy into the classroom, and getting your students to create their very own board game is a fantastic way to keep things fun while also getting them engaged in their learning. Games could centre around a particular topic; they could be quiz-based, matching games, or number games - let them get as creative as they like. You can then have fun in class playing the best ones too.
Go on a treasure hunt
As a fun homework task that will get your students out and about, ask them to go on a treasure or scavenger hunt, finding certain things that are related to your topic. For younger children, this could be as simple as collecting leaves, flowers, or twigs they might find in their local park, or particular shapes or colours, but older children can benefit from this kind of task too by setting more complicated challenges.
Create a collage
Creating collages can be a fun and interesting way for students to demonstrate their learning, improve their research skills and use their creativity and imagination and can be based on a variety of different topics so they work well across lots of subjects. Encourage them to stick cutouts, fabrics, tickets, photographs, and any other relevant materials to make up their collages, and then they can take turns presenting these in class.
Film a video
If your students are older and have mobile phones, you could set a video-making task for them to do at home. This could involve interviewing friends and relatives about a topic or filming themselves talking about a specific subject, or answering a particular question. Students could share their videos in class and will love being able to use their phones in school for once!
Create a crossword
Get your students to think creatively about questions and answers by asking them to create their very own crossword puzzle, using the material you've taught them in class as a basis. You can ask them to bring all their crossword puzzles into class and then swap them with each other to see if other students can fit the answers in correctly.
Find fun facts
Almost every subject has weird and wonderful facts surrounding it. Did you know, for example, that the word 'hundred' derives from an old Norse term 'hundrath,' which actually means 120?! Or that water can both boil and freeze simultaneously? Encourage your students to find the most obscure or interesting facts about the subjects you are teaching them, and then you can all share your findings in class.
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