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September 15, 2023
20 min read

15 Innovative School Homework Ideas to Make Learning Fun

15 Innovative School Homework Ideas to Make Learning Fun
Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

Introduction

“Hi teachers! I am your old friend, School Homework. Over time as education changed, so have I— thanks to the endless innovations that happened to me. 

Let me take you through my life and the various innovations that made me your best friend-

I was born in the 1920s to help students reinforce what they learned in class. Until the 1980s, I was basically just pen-and-paper-based assignments.  The Internet was born in 1983. From there onwards, I made my stride into the ‘digital era’.

Evolution of school homework

Until the beginning of 2020, I was slowly being integrated within online platforms and technology to help students learn better. Then at the onset of 2020, the world plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools shifted to a ‘remote learning’ mode of education.

During this pandemic, you and I became very crucial in ensuring the continuity of our students’ learning. You all embraced creative approaches to keep the students engaged. You leveraged interactive games, virtual simulations, & more to make me engaging.

Gone are the days when you, my dear teachers, would limit your homework to worksheets, textbook questions, literature reviews, and reports. Today as we stand here in 2023, there is no limit to innovative and exciting homework formats!

Well, that’s from me. See you in the classrooms!”

Unlimited possibilities when school homework and innovation combine

So teachers, we heard from homework about how it has evolved over time. As it said, many innovative ways have come up to reinforce our students' learning. So, are you ready to make your students fall in love with these new school homework ideas?

Let’s begin with understanding some general tips to keep your students engaged with their school homework.

General Tips to Keep Students Hooked to School Homework

1. Make it Relevant and Meaningful 

Connect the school homework to their lives, interests, or current events to make it more meaningful and relatable. For example, if it’s Christmas time, you can ask your students to explore the themes of charity, storytelling, etc.

2. Give Them a Choice

Allow students to have some choice and autonomy in their assignments. Ask them to select the format (e.g. written format in the online medium, oral format in the offline medium) in which they want to submit their homework. When they feel a sense of ownership, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged. This is how you become a 21st-century teacher who uses differentiated learning. 

Decode the Word
Differentiated learning is a strategy of tailoring instruction to individual student’s needs. What this means is that all students will have the same learning goals, but teachers vary their methods of learning w.r.t the student’s interests, learning styles and engagement.


3. Celebrate Their Achievements

When children get appreciated for their achievements or good behaviour, it boosts their self-confidence. It encourages them to repeat those actions. This creates a positive learning environment. They are more likely to deliver results when appreciated for their actions. Hence, you can celebrate their achievements via small rewards, recognition or a display of their work in class.

Proud teacher celebrating student’s achievement

Let's move to the next part of this blog, where we will share innovative school homework ideas that will turn mundane homework into engaging learning sessions! 

After assigning any of these innovative homework ideas, you might never hear students’ innovative excuses to avoid homework! To give you a quick run-through, these ideas have been grouped under some common themes. Under each theme, you will learn how to use 3 ideas listed alongside relevant examples to comprehend it completely.

Come along as we give the ratty old homework a MAKEOVER!

15 Innovative School Homework Ideas to Engage Your Students

Theme A: Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts as part of school homework

By infusing the joy of arts and crafts into school homework, you can tap into the innate curiosity and imagination of your students. And you never know, you might end up being the person that shaped the next Da Vinci! So, let’s get right into it:

1. Create Your Storybook

Storybooks as creative holiday homework design for nursery class

We all have heard stories. We have loved them and adored them. So why not give our students a chance to write one? 

After the students submit their storybooks, you can review their stories and give personalised feedback. Such feedback addresses each student’s individual needs, strengths, and areas for improvement. This fosters a student-centric learning environment. 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Create a storybook on their favourite fictional characters from their English Literature Syllabus, such as Harry Potter or Matilda.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Design a narrative-based comic book retelling a classic play like "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Craft a novella inspired by a chosen literary work from the English Literature syllabus.

2. Make Your Own Board Game

Holiday homework design ideas to make your own board game

Do you remember the joy of gathering around a table, rolling a dice, and playing Snakes & Ladders? As kids and even as adults, many of us love spending our time playing board games. 

Now, picture becoming the teacher that integrates school homework with a board game! Students can design board games and incorporate artistic elements into their theme, board layout, cards, etc. They can become architects of fun and learning!

Playing board games during summer holidays

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Design a board game on animals with jungle-themed cards. Add tasks like imitating the animal or guessing the animal’s habitat.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Create a board game depicting important events from World War 2. Add tasks like creating game cards with historical information.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Develop a strategic board game centred around a complex social issue or global challenge. Add tasks like creating a board journey of a historical event.

3. Construct a Birdhouse

Summer vacation holiday homework design ideas to create a birdhouse

Now, let’s tap into the sweet nostalgia of DIY(Do it Yourself) Projects. It could be something as simple as bedsheet forts or something a little more complex like a birdhouse 🙂

Won’t it be wonderful to watch your students feel a sense of accomplishment when they build their own handmade creations? 

Let’s focus on the idea of constructing a birdhouse. By assigning students this homework, you’ll additionally be encouraging kinesthetic learning

Decode the Word
Kinesthetic learning is about learning through movement and hands-on experiences. Students with this learning style grasp concepts by applying and engaging in physical activities. The best way to help these students learn is to incorporate building models, experimenting, or playing games.

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Draw a birdhouse on cardboard or on paper.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Construct a birdhouse from scratch, following specific dimensions and incorporating elements that attract certain bird species. Research and create a guide on local bird species and their habitats.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Design and build an elaborate birdhouse that incorporates sustainable materials and advanced woodworking techniques. Conduct a study on nesting preferences and document findings.

Theme B: Physical and Outside Activities

Students love spending their time outdoors. Assigning school homework that requires them to be outside is a big plus! It will also help them apply what’s taught in class in real-life situations and promote active learning.

4. Participate in a Scavenger Hunt

Using scavenger hunt as holiday homework design idea

Everyone loves a good old mystery! Give your students the chance to be modern-day ‘Sherlock Holmes’ as they set out on scavenger hunts. 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Join a geometry-themed scavenger hunt and search for items of different shapes in their neighbourhood.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Join a historical scavenger hunt in the community, where students discover landmarks related to local history.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Join a technology-based scavenger hunt using smartphones or tablets. Students can incorporate QR codes and online resources.

5. Maintain a Physical Activity Journal

In this digital age, where mobile and laptop screens often dominate, the majority of the students lead sedentary lifestyles. School homework which encourages physical activity, can be a game-changer! And what better than maintaining a physical activity journal that helps with it? Additionally, it will also promote the healthy habit of having an active lifestyle among students. 

Getting students to journal can seem tough, but with the right motivation & incentives, it can be done. Additionally, this can also be a fun summer holiday homework, where students can keep track of their activities all summer!

Encourage them to document their daily exercise triumphs. Push them to go beyond their own records! Ask them to explore science concepts- BMI, heart and pulse rates, diet, and nutrition!

Once you do this, exercise will not just be about breaking a sweat anymore. It will also be something that incorporates learning!

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Keep a daily journal of physical activities, such as playing sports or riding a bike. Students can record the duration, type of activity, and how it made them feel.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Maintain a weekly activity log. Students can set fitness goals, track their progress, and reflect on the benefits of regular physical activity.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Create a comprehensive fitness and wellness journal, tracking not only physical activities but also nutrition, sleep patterns, and mental well-being.

6. Conduct a Survey at a Local Supermarket

Holiday homework design idea regarding surveys at supermarkets

This outdoor activity is an extremely fun option for school homework. Most kids love running through the different aisles in a supermarket. Introducing a concept like surveys here gives them a chance to do some ‘real-life’ work and also provides much-needed relief to their parents! 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Ask students to talk to a supermarket owner about the number of chocolates they stock v/s the number of chocolates they sell.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Design a multiple-choice questionnaire to survey shoppers about their shopping preferences.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Conduct a comprehensive survey on consumer behaviour, market trends, or sustainable practices at the local supermarket. Analyse the data using statistical methods.

Theme C: Digital Activities

Holiday homework design ideas in the digital age

In the age of tech-savvy students, we often find parents complaining about the excess screen time with their kids. But what if you could harness the untapped potential in technology? Today's kids are already immersed in the digital world, so why not tap into their enthusiasm and merge it with learning? 

Let’s look at some innovative methods of assigning digital activities for school homework:

7. Record a Virtual Job Application

Holiday Homework design for classes 9 to 12 related to career opportunities

This can be a fun homework assignment for students of all grades. One thing that we often forget as teachers is that school is not just about the present; it's also about the future. But often, we don’t discuss the future. This results in students being almost lost when it comes to their future career opportunities. 

This is exactly where this school homework activity helps. Assigning school homework related to professions is a great chance for students to explore their career options. This, in turn, will help them be better prepared for life after school. 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Create a video where students share their aspirations and talk about their role models. They can dress up as that person and talk about their profession.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Students prepare a resume and cover letter for a fictional job and create a brief introduction video.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Research the companies or leaders students want to work with in the future. Record an elevator pitch describing their strengths and weaknesses and why they are perfect for a job role!

8. Participate in Online Collaborative Projects

Online collaboration projects as holiday homework design idea

Online projects are a catalyst for active learning and student engagement. They can be a tool for you to create a dynamic learning environment that goes beyond traditional classroom boundaries. Additionally, these activities enhance digital literacy and empower students to leverage technology for learning.

Working on online collaborative projects will also help students learn how to function together as a team. This is something that also prepares them for life beyond school, where it’s crucial to learn to work together.

Note
💡 Using this school homework approach will also allow you to explore new instructional strategies, digital tools like Trello and Microsoft OneNote and other platforms. This will ensure your continuous professional development that will expand your repertoire of instructional techniques.


Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Collaborate with classmates on a digital art project using online drawing tools.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Engage in an online group discussion or debate with students from other schools on a specific topic.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Join a global online collaborative project, such as a virtual science fair or a collaborative writing initiative.

9. Virtual Cultural Exchange

Using cultural exchange as holiday homework design idea

Cultural exchange events open doors to new horizons, offering students a unique chance to explore diverse cultures. By immersing them in new traditions, you develop acceptance, and empathy in your students. You give them a chance to have a broad and more inclusive perspective of the world.

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Buddy pair students and encourage them to engage in conversations while donning traditional costumes.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Create a presentation that explores similarities and differences between the cultures of their peers.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Engage in virtual cultural exchange programmes with students from various countries. Conduct virtual interviews and share experiences.

Theme D: Games

Holiday homework design ideas using games

Game-based school homework is one of the best ways to engage your students. Integrating learning within games creates a powerful synergy where education and entertainment merge seamlessly. 

It’s time to tap into your students’ natural love for games and leverage it!

10. Use Minecraft as a Learning Tool

Summer vacation holiday homework design ideas using games

Ah, Minecraft! A name that brings back memories of endless adventures in pixelated landscapes. It’s a game that is a nostalgic reminder of our childhood. 

But did you know that Minecraft can be more than just a game? It can be a powerful learning tool to level up the educational experience of your students. 

💡Learn how to leverage Minecraft to make your classrooms more engaging!

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Create a Minecraft world that represents a historical monument like the Taj Mahal.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Design a virtual science experiment within Minecraft.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Utilize Minecraft as a platform for architectural design and build virtual structures using architectural principles.

11. Encourage Role-Playing Games

Using roleplay as creative holiday homework design idea

Lights, camera, action! Role-playing games(RPGs) let students step into the shoes of a character and bring lessons to life. Even though RPGs are not typically classified as games, their unique blend of learning and fun makes them ideal for educational purposes. 

You can assign students to act out roleplays based on a historical event, scientific concept or work of literature. They can develop characters, write dialogues, and present this to the class.

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Spend a day as your favourite character and write your experience.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Students can design a setting based on a science concept and enact simple scripts to explain the concept.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Engage in a literary role-playing game where students assume the roles of characters from a play.

12. Online Challenges

Online coding as holiday homework design idea

You can introduce online challenges like coding of varying difficulties for different grade levels. Platforms like Scratch or Code.org can be helpful for this purpose. Coding challenges offer hands-on experience to students. It allows them to practice coding concepts and algorithms in a practical and engaging manner. 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Participate in online math challenges or puzzles.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Engage in coding challenges on platforms like Scratch or Code.org.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Join coding competitions or hackathons, either individually or as part of a team, to solve complex programming problems.

Theme E: Entrepreneurship

Students learning business ideas as part of holiday homework

In today's competitive world, students who embrace innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset stand out. As a teacher, you can nurture these qualities in your students via thought-provoking school homework. Such assignments can ignite students' passion for problem-solving, creative thinking, and strategic planning. Let’s look at some of the ideas below.

13. Pitch Your Business Idea

 Holiday homework design idea of practising a business pitch

Have you watched shows like Shark Tank or Billion Dollar Buyer? Have you been completely captivated by the business pitches on these shows?

Now, imagine doing the same for your students— unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. It’s time to bring the hustle of the business world into your classrooms!

Encourage students to develop a business idea and create a persuasive pitch. They should research their target market, competitors, and unique selling points. In fact, students can present their pitch using multimedia tools, such as slides or videos, highlighting the problem they're solving and the value their business brings.

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Give some business ideas to students like a craft business or lemonade stand and ask them to choose one and why.
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Present a solution for a problem in the school or community. Students can brainstorm and then present their creative solutions.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Challenge students to create a detailed business proposal, including market analysis, financial projections, and marketing strategies, for a unique business concept.

14. Design a Mobile App

School homework idea to design mobile apps

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Think about the countless hours that you spend on your smartphone, exploring different apps that make your life easier. This is a practice growing like fire amongst kids as well and is cause for serious concern!

What if they spend time on their phone and learn at the same time?

This homework assignment encourages students to apply their creativity and technical skills to develop a concept for a mobile application. Additionally, you can also assign this as a holiday homework assignment and let students go wild with learning during summer!

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) *
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Divide students into teams and ask to come up with app ideas after market research.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Create wireframes and prototypes for a mobile app using basic coding and UI/UX.

*Technologies like designing mobile applications can be too complex for the primary school. Hence, we focus on this idea only for middle and high school students.

15. Set up a Stall at the School Fair

School homework idea of setting up a stall at fair

This homework acts as an Introduction to Business 101 class for students of all grade levels. Students get to decide what stall to put up, then work on the logistics and finally manage the stall and finances on D-Day. This will teach students real-world skills and give them a feeling of ownership.

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Grade School Homework to Assign Your Students
Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Set up lemonade stands, make posters, and have some light-hearted and healthy competition to see who makes the most money at an internal class fair!
Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Plan and execute a stall that offers a service, such as face painting, a photo booth, or a mini arcade game.
Homework for classes 9 to 12(or High School) Set up a stall, selling products or services that they have created or sourced.

Bonus

Bonus for holiday homework design ideas

Grade-Specific Tips to follow while Preparing School Homework

1. Primary School students

  • Keep it Interactive and Hands-on
    Younger children thrive on tactile and interactive experiences. Incorporate more of arts and crafts, storytelling, etc., to make homework enjoyable for them.
  • Use Visuals
    Vibrant colours will capture their attention and make tasks visually appealing.
  • Keep it Short
    Primary school students have limited attention spans. Give them small tasks that they can accomplish in a limited timeframe.

2. Middle School students

  • Offer More Choices
    Middle schoolers are often teenagers already on the precipice of changes beyond their control. They will appreciate having some control over their learning. Allow them to choose topics or formats that align with their interests.
Importance of homework and choices in homework
  • Incorporate Technology
    Middle school students are often technologically savvy. Utilise online resources, interactive platforms, and digital tools to make homework more engaging and relevant to their interests.
  • Encourage Independent Research
    Foster their curiosity by assigning research-based projects. Encourage them to explore various sources and present their findings in creative ways.

3. High School Students

  • Encourage Critical Thinking and Analysis
    High schoolers are capable of higher-order thinking skills. Assign tasks that require critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical thinking.
  • Encourage Self-expression
    Offer creative assignments that allow them to express their thoughts, opinions and ideas. Remember that they are young adults finding their voice in a loud world. Encourage them to write essays, create multimedia presentations, or engage in spirited debates.
dea on how to make homework fun in high school
  • Push for Practical Application
    Assign tasks that connect to real-world situations, allowing them to see the relevance and importance of their learning.

How to Improve Your Homework and Other Teaching Strategies?

 Meredith stating the importance of teacher counselling

Do you want to learn about more strategies to improve school homework? What if you could upskill and improve all your teaching strategies- classroom management, assessment, and lesson planning, among many others?

Book a call with a mentor to get dedicated teacher counselling on upskilling and improving your teaching strategies.

Conclusion

In a world where school homework is generally met with students’ whining, you can use these approaches to turn it into a gateway for innovation! By infusing ideas such as game-based learning, digital activities, and arts and crafts, you can help students engage with school homework meaningfully. This will foster a lifelong love for learning among your students, ultimately helping them succeed in and beyond the classroom.

Want a short compilation of all the amazing school homework ideas? Click the button below

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Written By
Aashita Pillai

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

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