But ESL students, on the other hand, may disagree. Adult learners will argue that they have busy schedules and a life outside the classroom, which translates into “no time for homework”. Young learners and teens may come to terms with the fact that they have to do homework, but do we want them to do it because they are compelled to do it... or do we want them to do it because they are excited to do it? Which would you prefer?
The only way to get young students excited about doing homework, and get adults to set aside some time for it, is through highly creative and thoroughly engaging homework assignments. And here are 5 examples:
Homework Assignments That Work
A Word Book
A Word Book or Vocabulary Journal is a classic among teachers of very young learners who are not adept at using dictionaries; here they have a chance to make their own. Help them design their very own Word Book from scratch, out of construction paper, cardboard, or any materials you have on hand. At the end of a reading task or activity, make a list of the words they have learned for the day. Their homework assignment is to enter each of the new words in their Word Book. The littlest ones simply copy the word and draw a picture of it; older students can use the word in a sentence that illustrates its meaning. There is no need to copy “dictionary” definitions. They may also cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers and get as creative as they like. But one thing is certain… these will be words they won’t easily forget!
Do My Research!
This is an extremely engaging way to provide extended practice of any grammar point. Say you want your students to practice comparatives and superlatives. Tell them you need information on this year's Oscar nominations. Tell them to go to Oscar.go.com and give them a list of questions they must answer:
- Which of the nominees for Best Picture is the longest film? Which is the shortest? The most popular? Earned the most money at the box office?
- Which film has the most nominations?
- Which in your opinion is the best film?
- Compare two of the actresses nominated for Best Actress. Who is older? Younger? Taller? Prettier?
You may assign any number of research tasks: ideal places for a family vacation (LonelyPlanet.com), best restaurants in the city (Zagat.com), or anything based on local information. Just make sure you give them a website to go to, a set of questions to answer or a task to complete, and above all don't forget to plan the assignment with a grammar point or learning objective in mind.
In the News
This is an ideal assignment for adult students. Most read the newspaper anyway, right? Or watch the evening news. Ask them to choose a news story that has piqued their interest, and have them:
- Write a report on the news story
- Write a dialogue in which a journalist interviews someone involved in the story.
- Answer a question like, “What could have gone differently?”, thus prompting them to use conditionals, for example (If the truck driver had not answered his cell phone, he would not have caused the accident.)
This is clearly one of the homework assignments that works best with adult learners or those who specifically study Business English. Give them an email to read and ask them to write an appropriate reply. Or give them a situation that would require them to compose a message, like a complaint over a bad service experience or an inquiry into vacation rentals.
Choose a TV series that is shown in English, either with or without subtitles (you may ask students to cover the subtitles). Choose a show that is suitable to your students’ ages. Tell your students that their homework for that night will be to watch an episode of Modern Family, whether they usually watch the show or not. Give them a task to complete after viewing the episode: a synopsis of the episode, a character description, or a questionnaire (Do you usually watch this show? If not, would you start watching it? Why/why not?)
Another great way to get students actively engaged in their homework assignments is to ask them to come up with some ideas for creative assignments on their own and share them with the class. They may surprise you!
And if you’re still stumped as to which worksheets to assign to practice grammar, vocabulary, or reading, BusyTeacher.org is always available to help, 24/7, with wonderful ideas for activities and great ready-to-print worksheets.
If you have any ideas for other wonderfully creative homework assignments, share them below!
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No, schools shouldn't let kids do homework over vacation
Schools shouldn't let kids have homework over vacation. I mean, its one of those days where you get to relax before you go after school. I have to do homework over vacation and it sucks. It's the time where you take time off with no interruptions. Period. No more homework until we GET back into school. Keyword GET.
WE are suppose to spend time with our families
Aren't we suppose to follow the ten minute rule I do around 2 hours of homework every night and I am only in seventh grade. That is way over the 70 minutes that I an suppose to be doing. I want to be spending more time with family when I have homework that colleges are teaching their students???
To busy for homework
School's way to easy and is a joke. Vacation is my time to learn my calculus and physics. Screw homework, school's too easy. We need Calculus by 8thgrade at latest. This is why China and Asia is ahead of us. Get off you lazy asses and actually learn something. America these days.
Homework is gaauyyyy
Homework is stupid and is a waste of time. I would rather go outside on a sunny day then sit inside and do homework. Homework does not help students practice because it is almost always learned in school first. Mostly, teachers like senora vakos need to stop being annoying and giving homework everyday. Stop!
Rest is important!
Vacation is a time when kids can wind down and forget their worries. If teachers decide to assign homework over the break then there is no vacation whatsoever.
This really goes with all people in which they need time to rest. If people do not give time to rest then their brains will cease to function effectively because they do not give it some rest.
In fact there is studies that show that plentiful rest actually increases productivity and improves performance.
Rest is a really essential part of our lives, and homework over vacation would just hinder it.
We Need a Break!
Students are constantly being pounded with homework. We have homework almost every day, including weekends. If we can't even catch a break on weekends then the few holiday breaks are all the time we have to relax for the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR. More and more often, teachers are giving homework over breaks. Do we ever get a chance to relax? Homework over breaks is making them feel more like home school than an actual break.
No school should not give home works over vacayion
No school should not give homeworks over vacation .What is vacation ?It is thir to enjoy to enjoy our seleves and have rest behafe of it . So all schools must now it so school should not give homeworks during vacation. As my opinion school schools should not give home works over vacation
Vacation is for resting, not working
Do schools not know what vacation is?! Vacation is when we are supposed to get away from work and relax. Not work! If students don't get the chance to rest, possibly one or more could literally die from exhaustion! Again, don't schools know what 'taking a break' is? It means to rest and stop working, not cancel school and give more paperwork and studying.
No, they shouldn't
Kids already have enough on their plate as it is during the school year; they have to worry about other issues besides school work. Vacation time is called that for a reason: Kids need to be able to relax!! Quit overwhelming them with endless amounts of work. Brains need vacations too.
They may miss out on their vacation
Some people go on vacations with their families on school breaks, and they may be out doing stuff the whole time and not get to do it, or they have to spend their vacation time doing homework. Who wants to spend money on a trip and then spend it working?