This blog post focuses on yet another essential aspect of English learning and teaching – potential ideas for assignments. While students may complain about homework, English assignments (both in-class and take-home) are so important because they promote student thinking, work, and reinforce the material introduced in class. However, just because assignments are an integral part of classroom teaching does not mean that all assignments are equally valuable or useful. This blog post will highlight (and link to some useful sites) ideas that not only fulfill the requirement of an effectual Language Arts assignment, but can also be fun and interesting for students, as well.
This particular site, Ms. Effie’s English Assignments, offers a wide variety of educational (and just as importantly, fun) ideas to supplement Language Arts instruction in the classroom. It offers ideas for particular works, such as Beowulf, to autobiography assessment and student activities for students to get involved in. What is so useful about this link is that not only are interesting and applicable homework assignments provided for certain tasks, but it also describes why these activities are necessary and educationally sound. For example, the Beowulf link provides an idea such as ‘Reader Response Journal’ topics to promote personal student thinking and writing as they chronicle their experience with the Old English text. Similarly, the Autobiography tab provides ideas as to how to encourage student writing and reflection among students based on their own life experiences, increasing their writing skills and essay abilities.
This particular site, Bright Hub – English Assignment Ideas, is yet another educationally useful site that offers several interesting points of interest and assessment tasks for English teachers to consider. While many English teachers only focus on such ideas as daily homework or writing assignments, this link discusses the importance of providing students with opportunities to creatively express their opinion, thoughts, and experience with the texts they encounter in Language Arts. The site describes that group or long-term projects (versus the same individual activities performed day after day) promote student interest and critical thinking, as well as connections from the text to students’ personal lives. Once these personal connections have been made, students will be more likely to want to continue reading and pay attention in class to further understand the intricacies and benefits of literature.
Overall, these links provide some great ideas and concept topics to consider for English teachers looking for some new and creative assignment ideas. If good teachers can provide their students with both fun and relevant homework assignments that reinforce their familiarity with the material in a connective and applicable manner, then students will be that much more likely to find a passion for English and learn more successfully in the future.