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Old 07-17-2008, 10:26 AM
Historyboy Historyboy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
US History Bellringers?

Hello, what a great site this appears to be that I somehow stumbled upon!

I teach junior high social studies and I started using a bellringer for geography last year where I have a map outline on a promethean board and I color in a country and make the kids answer 4 questions about it. The kids seem to like it.

For US History class I often would post a daily riddle. Most of the kids like to come in and try to figure it out while I'm taking role, etc. I feel it helps them work on critical thinking skills. One of the administrators is big on bellringers and while he likes the riddle idea he would like me to try to find a history bellringer.

I do have the Take 5 Minutes book but I use that for after test assignments.

Does anyone out there have any US History Bellringer ideas that they are willing to share?
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:48 AM
kyblue07's Avatar
kyblue07 kyblue07 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 160
Kentucky, USA
8th Grade Teacher
I use a daily quote for my bellringers. They are not always necessarily about or by someone involved in US History, but during specific times and topics I will chose specific ones. For example, when we do out Constitution study, the quotes all have to do with the nature of govt or were said by someone pertinent to U.S. History during that time period. I like using quotes because it's a way for them to get their creative and abstract thinking in gear. It also gives them an opportunity right at the start to be 'right'. As long as they gave an honest effort they get credit. They copy the quote on a sheet they pickup every Monday and then write 1 sentence what they think it means in their own words. I pick one of two students each day to share what they wrote. Many times this leads to some great discussions! At the end of the week they turn their quote sheet in for credit.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:56 AM
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ancientcivteach ancientcivteach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 809
Fifth Grade American History
How many Questions?
You give them the "answer", ie "Massachusetts", or "John Adams", or "tax" and they write as many questions as they can for which that is the answer.

What is that?
You show them an artifact and they need to describe it and deduce what they can about who made it, why, what it was used for . . .

Review Questions

Ask two or three questions from the previous days lesson. Not real exciting, but useful.

Journal Prompt

Tell me three things about, what would you do if, what do you think will happen . . .
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:23 PM
INteacher's Avatar
INteacher INteacher is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,898
High School Social Studies
I also use my bell questions to have the students read the "extras" in their text book. In my World History text, each chapter ususally has a sidebar about art, people, geography to read followed by a few questions. I also ask open ended questions -

When is it okay to rebel against authority?
Does History have a point of view?
When is it okay for a nation to intervene in another nation's affairs?
What acts justify a nation's right to declare war?

I usually always start a new unit with this type of question - Tell me what you know about the French Revolution

On the day before testing I always use this one - List at least one thing your learn in this unit and why it was interesting to you

I also ask personal questions such as

What would you do with a million dollars?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
Who do you admire the most and why?

Just a small sample of my bell questions - I have a ton since I have used them in World History, US History and Geography for the past 5 years.
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
Henry Ward Beecher
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:14 AM
Historyboy Historyboy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks, these are great. Hopefully they keep coming. INteacher I wouldn't mind seeing some more of yours if you are willing to share.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:19 PM
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Brendan Brendan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,084
Prinicpal 7-12 Private School & SS
I use the daily SPARK for my US history courses along with questions theat I make up on my own. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/US-.../9781411402263
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:05 AM
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Rockguykev Rockguykev is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,672
Social Studies
2-3 times a week students write their Cornell note questions and share them out. The other days I just fit whatever the topic happens to be for the day with some random thought prompt.

I'm thinking about doing questions every day though. It really starts the class off right and I don't have to be involved at all.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:08 PM
LoVe 2 TcH's Avatar
LoVe 2 TcH LoVe 2 TcH is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 166
So Cal
7th and 8th English & 8th History
I do a DOG (daily oral geography) question. I write 2 questions on the board, students have to coy and we quickly answer them.

I do however, like the idea of writing a review type question on the board.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:18 AM
HistoryBuff's Avatar
HistoryBuff HistoryBuff is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 20
New Jersey
Middle School Social Studies
could you recommend any good websites for social studies bell rigners?
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:13 PM
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MsTeacher98 MsTeacher98 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
If you like riddles, are there any historical riddles you can use to relate to your curriculum?
I like:
Map Mondays
Twisted Tuesdays (Brain Twisters- Riddles)
What's Happening Wednesdays (Current Events)
Thinking Thursdays (review or critical thinking/application type questions)
Free For All Fridays (any kind of question/activity is fair game)
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bellringers, history

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