Skip to content

A great homework idea-kids teaching parents

November 27, 2010

So this idea came across the twitter nets in the last #scichat, from Eric Brunsell

Well, #scichat is already a success for me — great HW idea via @gardenglen and @Becky_Ellis_ (reteaching to parents)!

@gcschmit two if the ideas tonight might fit well — have students (1) teach parents (2) stump the teacher #scichat

Teach parents?! What a great idea! So here what should be a fun homework assignment. But I want to expand it a bit to teach an adult, not necessarily a parent. Note, as a former boarding school teacher, who saw his students thrive in incredible ways without needing parents to sign every permission slip, check over every bit of homework, and or proofread each college essay, I’m normally somewhat averse to this type of assignment, since many of the children I teach suffer from the classic “helicopter parent” syndrome. But I see this as a different, and possibly helping my students to show their parents just how much responsibility they are taking for their learning.

So the general idea is to give kids a topic on which to teach an adult, and then give them a quiz they can use to see how well their “students” understand the topic.

Here’s my first thought for an assignment of this nature.

  • Have kids and parents watch this video
  • Now have student explain to parent the physics of why the fire/water sculpture thing did not move. Free body diagrams are encouraged.
  • Quiz: Watch this video

Complete these questions:

  1. Explain why the shopping carts do not stay inside the truck.
  2. Draw free body diagrams for carts and the truck.
  3. Explain how closing the back gate of the truck might have prevented this accident (assume the gate flips up from the bottom).
5 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna Moore permalink
    January 25, 2011 8:32 pm

    What did your kids think of this? I’ve never done something like this, but I did have some animated parents on Parents’ Night talking about the fact that their children had been explaining some cool science experiments to them over the dinner table. Just the fact that a dialogue was ensuing seemed so amazing to me. I think sometimes that parents feel like they don’t even know how to ask their kids about what they are learning in school. Your homework not only helps the kids solidify their thinking, but also has the potential to drive some really great family moments. Question: did your kids reflect on what parts of the lesson were hard to teach and why?

    • January 25, 2011 10:11 pm

      I think my kids really liked the homework. Parents too. I didn’t do enough follow up to see how kids really thought on a meta level about how difficult it is to teach, or reflect on what they could have done better. If I come up with a more long term assignment for kids to do with parents, maybe I’ll try that.


  1. Teach it to learn it « Quantum Progress
  2. Daily Favorites in Education 08/15/2012 « Teaching Miss Cheska
  3. She Tweeted You With Science! 08/15/2012 « Teaching Miss Cheska

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: