I Didn't Do My Homework... A Fun Book & Activity for the First Week of School

Last year, I purchased I Didn't Do My Homework Because... (not an affiliate link) because the illustrations appealed to me and it looked like a fun book to share with my students during the first week of school. I like to have fun, short books to introduce important rules and procedures to my students. This book was a great introduction to our discussion about homework, which is actually pretty minimal in my class, but exists, nonetheless. I brought my students to the carpet and previewed the cover, asking them what their honest thoughts were on homework. We discussed the types of assignments they liked and the types they didn't like. Then, I asked students if any of them had ever forgotten to do their homework. Of course, many hands went up and they all did a little nervous giggle together. I asked them to turn and talk to a partner (this was a great time to squeeze in my expectations for turn and talks on the carpet) about a reason that they didn't do their homework. After they had a couple of minutes to share, I told them we'd be reading a story with a number of excuses inside. It would be up to them to determine if any of the excuses were actually believable.

I read the book, sharing the pictures, and we all laughed about the reasons the main character didn't complete his homework. I gave students time to share their favorite excuse from the story and we also discussed which ones were possible and which were impossible. Since I had their full attention and engagement, I used this as a springboard for my rules and expectations for homework. We had a serious discussion about what would be expected of them throughout the year. I made my expectations clear, allowed them to ask questions, and then shifted the focus to a fun activity. I created a reproducible that asks students to become both author and illustrator of their own creative excuse for not doing their homework. They were excited to get to work. Before they worked on their illustrations, I had them decide what their excuse would be and write it down under the picture, not telling or showing anyone at first so that all of their ideas would be their own. Once everyone had written down their excuse, I allowed students to talk at a whisper (level 1) as they began to work on their illustrations. The whole activity took about an hour. I put all of their pictures on the wall as soon as they completed them! We had some really creative excuses, as you'll see below!
This creative student wrote, "A magician came and turned me into a french fry. I did not have any hands to pick up my pencil or flip a page. Then a giant dipped me into ketchup and bit my head off! 

Another wonderful student wrote, "A evil unicorn on a storm cloud took my house with my homework."

This fantastic student wrote, "A shark-faced dog took me to get ice cream. When I came home, I asked where my homework was and my sister said her frog ate it."

If you don't have a copy of this book, I encourage you to borrow one or invest in one for your classroom. I will be doing this every year from now on. It was a great way to engage students, read an enjoyable book, address an important topic, and give students time to have fun and be creative. You can click the image below to grab a copy of the reproducible for the activity. Enjoy!


No comments

Back to Top