No Homework!

story by Kathryn England , illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Learning intention

I am learning to adapt and combine aspects of texts I have experienced so that I can create unique and interesting texts.

Success criteria

  • I can identify repetition in a text.
  • I can reflect on when repetition might be useful.
  • I can compose a text that features examples of repetition.


Prior to reading No Homework! display the following paragraph:

I went to the beach today. I like the beach. It was fun at the beach today. The beach is a great place to meet up with friends. I saw my friends at the beach today.

Discuss students’ opinions about this paragraph. Most likely they will conclude that it is a little boring as it repeats a number of words (beach, today and friends). Discuss the fact that most authors will aim to avoid repetition as much as possible and the ways they do this, for example by using synonyms for key words.

Read No Homework! Draw students’ attention to the use of repetition of words and phrases such as:

didn’t like homework, in sentences such as,

Deon didn’t like homework. Deon’s friends, Habib, Tuan and Carla, didn’t like homework. None of the children in Mr Kirk’s class liked homework. None of the parents of children in Mr Kirk’s class liked homework.

Groaned, in sentences such as,

When Mr Kirk handed out long homework sheets each week, everyone groaned. When their parents saw the long homework sheets each week, they groaned too.

I’ll be able to, as in sentences such as,

I’ll be able to ride my bike as soon as I get home.
I’ll be able to watch TV as soon as I get home.

Discuss the following questions:

  • What reasons might the author have for using repetition in these extracts? (To emphasise key ideas, to show that all the students and all the parents think the same, to create a text with a unique style)
  • What impact does the use of repetition have on readers? (It creates emphasis, it shows how strongly the students and parents feel about homework)

Inform students that they will be composing their own text where repetition is used deliberately. Gradually release responsibility by completing an example together first. Discuss students’ own opinions about homework, for example that it helps with consolidating what they learn at school or that they find it boring.

Inform students that they will be composing a description of homework, explaining their thoughts surrounding homework to a younger child. Compose an example together, such as:

Homework is important. Everything about it is important. It’s important to practise reading, it’s important to practise mathematics, it’s important to practise spelling. Sometimes, when I find a subject tricky at school I go home and practise as part of my homework. Practise helps me to consolidate what I have learnt. Practise is so very important.

Place students with a partner or in a small group. Students may also work independently on this task if they wish. Instruct them to compose their own description of homework, using repetition of key words and phrases for emphasis.

Peer assessment

Once students have completed their descriptions, instruct them to swap with another student/group. Tell students that they should identify the examples of repetition and provide feedback on the impact this has on readers. Students should also suggest further words or phrases that might be repeated in their peer’s work if necessary.

The webpage Effective Feedback has more information on the types of feedback.