Reading Activities For Homework


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Bryan, T., Nelson, C., & Mathur, S. (1995). Homework: A survey of primary students in regular, resource, and self-contained special education classrooms. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 10, 85-90.

Cooper, H. (1989). Synthesis of research on homework. Educational Leadership, 47, 85 91.

Cooper, H., & Nye, B. (1994). Homework for students with learning disabilities: The implications of research for policy and practice. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27, 470-479.

Epstein, M. H., Polloway, E. A., Foley, R. M., & Patton, J. R. (1993). Homework: A comparison of teachers' and parents' perceptions of the problems experienced by students identified as having behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, or no disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 14(5), 40-50.

Hughes, C. A., Ruhl, K. L., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (2002). Effects of instruction in an assignment completion strategy on the homework performance of students with learning disabilities in general education classes. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 17, 1-18.

Hughes, C. A., Ruhl, K. L., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1995). The assignment completion strategy. Lawrence, KS: EDGE Enterprises.

Hughes, C. A., Ruhl, K. L., Rademacher, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1995). Quality quest planner. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprises.

Hughes, C. A., Maccini, P., & Gagnon, J. C. (2003). Interventions that positively impact the performance of students with learning disabilities in secondary general education classrooms. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 12(3), 32-44.

Lenz, B. K., Ehren, B. J., & Smiley, L. R. (1991). A goal attainment approach to improve completion of project type assignments by adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 6, 166-176.

O'Melia, M. C., & Rosenberg, M. S. (1994). Effects of cooperative homework teams on the acquisition of mathematics skills by secondary students with mild disabilities. Exceptional Children, 60, 538-548.

Otto, W. (1985). Homework: A meta-analysis. Journal of Reading, 28, 764-766.

Paschal, A., Weinstein, R., & Walberg, H. (1984). The effects of homework on learning: A quantitative synthesis. Journal of Educational Research, 78, 97-104.

Polloway, E. A., Foley, R. M., & Epstein, M. H. (1992). A comparison of the homework problems of students with learning disabilities and nonhandicapped students. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 7, 203-209.

Putnam, M. L., Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (1993). The investigation of setting demands: A missing link in learning strategy instruction. In L. Meltzer (Ed.), Strategy assessment and instruction for students with learning disabilities: From theory to practice (pp. 325-354). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Rademacher, J. A., Deshler, D. D., Schumaker, J. B., & Lenz, B. K. (1998). The quality assignment routine. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Rademacher, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1996). Development and validation of a classroom assignment routine for inclusive settings. Learning Disability Quarterly, 19, 163-178.

Rosenberg, M. S. (1989). The effects of daily homework assignments on the acquisition of basic skills by students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22, 314-322.

Sah, A., & Borland, J. H. (1989). The effects of a structured home plan on the home school behaviors of gifted learning-disabled students with deficits in organizational skills. Roeper Review, 12, 54-57.

Salend, S. J., & Gajria, M. (1995). Increasing the homework completion rates of students with mild disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 16, 271-278.

Salend, S. J., & Schliff, J. (1989). An examination of the homework practices of teachers of students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22, 621-623.

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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

  1. 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!

  2. 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 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?
    • Etc…

    You may assign any number of research tasks: ideal places for a family vacation (, best restaurants in the city (, 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.

  3. 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.)
  4. Email Writing

    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.

  5. Watch It!

    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, 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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