Teaching Critical Thinking Creatively
This includes 125 bell ringers (bellringers), warm ups, or do nows, that center around primary source analysis. Each slide included a primary source that has been edited to make it accessible to students in grades 7 through 10. They are organized in a logical chronological order through the first half of U.S. History (from first settlement/ Native Americans to Reconstruction). Each slide includes a source in case you want to investigate further or if students have more questions. You can view the full list of documents included here.
I carefully chose real primary sources that would compel your students to think. The questions are based on the source. The source is not added as a decorative flair, instead, the students have to read through the information or visual and process that information to come up with their answer. Each document has one or two questions that should be seen as discussion starters. The questions start the discussion, but you and your students must facilitate it further!
These are meant to be bell ringers – therefore, the question-answer time should last about 5 minutes. Some questions are related to comprehension, while others are based on historical thinking and reasoning skills. Because the questions are editable, you can always change the question to meet the needs of your classroom.
I highly recommend using bell ringers as a way to jumpstart cooperative learning every day in your classroom. When students come in at the beginning of class, they always want to talk, and these documents provide a way for you to structure that conversation.
I’ve provided a list of 5 possible ways to utilize these in your classroom to facilitate cooperative and independent learning.
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