Think about the key ideas in a text
Reading or watching a set text for study is probably the most basic holiday homework task students get. Beyond merely familiarising themselves with the text though, something else essential that students need to achieve from an initial reading or viewing of a text is to begin to consider how key ideas in a text are conveyed and what their messages are. To get students to do this:
a) When you set holiday homework and before students engage with a text for the first time, introduce students to the 3-4 key ideas in a text and show them examples of essay tasks they’ll come across. Give them a short simple list of the key ideas that they can keep inside their novel.
b) Students can begin to think about the key ideas in the text as they read or view it by identifying examples of something that happens that shows a key ideas.
c) Another way students can think about the key ideas in a text is by finishing simple message sentence starters about the text once they have finished it:
*The text shows it’s important to…
*By the end of the text, the protagonist has discovered…
*The text shows that when…
Develop vocabulary lists
Since everything in English is fundamentally a writing test, vocabulary lists will always come in useful in helping students write better. So you can get students to:
a) Develop word lists for each of the key ideas in a text response text (i.e at least ten words for each idea). They can do this through their own brainstorming or by using a thesaurus. They can practise using some of these words to complete an activity like c) from above.
b) Develop a list of alternative nouns and adjectives for a key idea they are studying for idea frameworks. Trying using some of them in a simple persuasive writing task.
Brainstorm creative writing ideas
In order to come up with two good ideas to write about for the creating texts area of study, students will need to begin with a long list of possibilities. This process should begin during the holidays. After introducing students to the idea framework before the holidays, set students the challenge of coming up with at least ten things they could write about over the holidays.