Homework Challenge

Differentiating activities so that all students can succeed is sometimes a rigorous task for a teacher – but it doesn’t have to be! This Homework Challenge resource not only makes homework more accessible for all types of students, but it also provides students with choice and engagement in how they would like to complete the task.

How it works:

Students are given a homework topic – this might be famous designers in DT, World War 1 in History or To Kill a Mockingbird in English. The student then decides how they would prefer to complete their homework. They research the topic (or already have some understanding of it from a previous lesson) and display their knowledge in one of the twenty different methods listed on the Homework Challenge sheet.

The challenges are split into 3 different categories of easy, medium and hard (A,B,C). The challenges in the ‘Junior Designer’ category take less time to complete and are a little easier, whereas the ‘Creative Director’ challenges take much longer to complete and are slightly more difficult.

Students complete their chosen challenge, hand it into the teacher (sometimes performing it to the rest of the class if they wish) and the teacher gets a wide variety of creative homework’s that are all about the same topic! You may decide to reward students based upon the level of challenge they choose (e.g. a postcard home if they complete a ‘Creative Director’ challenge).

Results:

Homework Challenge leaves it up to the student to decide how much effort they want to put into their homework. You might be worried that giving them this choice means that you get a lot of homework that is written on the back of an envelope and was completed on the bus into school, however, I have found that the majority of students hand in a fantastic, creative piece of homework, which they have also enjoyed completing!

I had a boy in Y7 who decided to research Saul Bass. He wrote a rap about Saul Bass and performed it to the rest of the class in the following lesson. I have also had students who have created top trumps cards for manufacturing materials, illustrated comic book strips about the development of Instagram or planned a lesson on sustainability with questions to teach to the rest of the class.

Students have been much more engaged in homework and have enjoyed having the choice of tasks. I used to give students homework’s such as “design a poster about the life of James Dyson”, however, not all students like creating posters, some find it boring, some find it difficult. With Homework Challenge all students become engaged and there are tasks to suit all abilities. The outcomes are wonderful and students put a lot more effort into their work which is amazing to see!

 

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