Last year, I was introduced to the “task card” concept when I did a review for Creek Edge Press. (Creek Edge Press offers task card sets on a large variety of subjects, from history to science to art.) Task cards are cards that list a variety of activities for the student to complete independently. The activities on any one card might include research, art, timeline activities, hands-on crafts or experiments. Emily really enjoyed this way of having her work assigned. It allowed her to work mostly independently while giving her some choices about what she did each day. (She worked through the Ancient History set last year.)
This year, I decided to try making my own. We’re using the first edition of Diana Waring’s History Revealed series. These books include a large variety of assignments, including reports, creative writing, drawing political cartoons, maps, hands-on science, and even cooking. In the past, I’d pick and choose activities from the book for Emily, or ask her to look in the book and “pick one of the creative writing assignments” to do. It occurred to me that these assignments could easily be put onto task cards, allowing me to get the planning done ahead of time and allowing Emily to learn to take more responsibility for managing her time and assignments.
I spent some time during the summer typing various assignment choices for each unit and printing them onto card stock, with 4-6 tasks on each card. Several times a week, Emily works on task cards for 45 minutes to an hour. She works through one card a week and is expected to do most of the activities, but not necessarily all of them. This gives her some choice as to what she does each day. So far, it’s been a bit hit!