Clarendon Learning Lessons include many creative ideas for classroom instruction and student learning. Students are asked to work independently or with their peers, fostering their collaboration skills. Of course, the lessons also include many traditional learning exercises such as multiple-choice questions, matching, fill in the blank responses, and others. And since every school and classroom is different, any lesson used with students can be adapted to meet the needs of learners.
Whether you are assigning homework based on Clarendon Learning lessons or your own school’s curriculum, the homework you assign is essential for learning. Some schools across the country have banned assigning homework to students while others limit the amount each night. If you do assign homework, there are several general creative ideas you can use that will motivate your students to complete the homework you assign.
Creative hands-on learning activities and other similar learning ideas in the classroom are quite effective. They can be just as effective at home as well for a wide variety of subjects and assignments. In every student’s home, there is “stuff” and other resources that can be accessed to help students review a concept taught at school. Here are a few samples for different subjects:
- MATH – Multiplication Facts: Students use the numbers that appear on product labels and multiply them together. Not only do they get multiplication practice, but they may also be introduced to a food label in a new way and it encourages the students to read food and other product labels. In this way, they can relate what they learn in class to the real world, showing them when they will use these concepts in their everyday lives.
- SCIENCE – Solids, Liquids, Gases: Students conduct a home or neighborhood search for items that are solids, liquids, or gases. For example, they can open the refrigerator and list milk, juice, and other beverages as liquids; list the containers, butter, veggies, and more as solids; and the carbonated drinks can be listed as containing gas. You can ask them later about eggs or Jell-O and other items that may be both solid and liquid. This reinforces their learning by allowing them to explore and use their creativity to complete the assignment.
- SOCIAL STUDIES – Older Adult Interviews: Students may be studying topics in history from the past 50 to 100 years. With this exercise, they interview an older adult who lived through the event that they are studying. They obtain opinions and feelings related to the event as well as confirm (or dispute) facts the students have been taught and discuss how the person was affected by the event. This gives them a deeper understanding of that event and shows them the value of primary sources.
- LANGUAGE ARTS – Parts of Speech Search: Students practice identifying the seven parts of speech while at home, listing examples that are used during family conversations or those words found on product labels.
Describing Things: Students use each of the five senses to write descriptive sentences or paragraphs related to things at home or in the neighborhood. The aroma of dinner, the sound of cars passing on the street, the sight of moving tree branches, the feel of a parent’s hug, or the taste of a spicy meal. This allows them to connect the lesson to the real world and allows them to think about their surroundings in a new and interesting way.
- READING – Read and React: Students are asked to read aloud a passage from their favorite story or novel and ask family members or close neighbors for their reactions and opinions about a character or event from the passage. Students record the information and discuss it with the listener. This illustrates that different people may notice different things while reading and gives the student a chance to practice discussing literature from a young age.
- MUSIC – Favorite Music: Students will listen to a parent or other family member’s favorite genre of music and then list the instruments they hear, share their opinions of the sound, and discuss other artists from a particular era with the family member. This encourages them to engage with the music on a level they normally would not.
- ART – Art Critic: Nearly all homes include some type of painting, picture, or sculpture on display. Students take a photo of an art piece in their home and write and share their opinion of the art piece with a family member. They can discuss the age of the work of art, how it adds to the room’s décor, why it’s significant to their family, and more. Students will gain valuable practice analyzing images and thinking about art with this homework assignment.
- HEALTH – Food Search: The students conduct a food search, identifying healthy versus unhealthy foods, listing reasons why they may be considered healthy or unhealthy, and reviewing food labels. This teaches students to think about what they eat and gives them a fun and interactive activity to do for homework.
There are many, many more creative homework ideas you can use for at-home assignments for your students. Think outside the box when assigning homework and practice incorporating interactive elements so that students aren’t just sitting at their desk. Try to create and develop assignments that kids will want to do and try to avoid the assignments that kids simply have to do. Think of the real-world applications for your lesson material as inspiration and build your homework assignments around that. Creative homework assignments can be fun and, at the same time, teach and enhance subjects introduced in the classroom.