Saturday, January 23, 2021

Dozens of Bell Ringers to Start Your Social Studies Lessons

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C-SPAN Classroom has long been one of my go-to recommendations for social studies teachers. It’s particularly good for those who are developing lessons about civics and government. Bell Ringers is one of the many good resources that C-SPAN Classroom provides for free to all teachers. 

C-SPAN Classroom Bell Ringers are short video clips accompanied by a few discussion questions and a list of key vocabulary terms. Bell Ringers are intended to be warm-up or introductory activities that you can complete with your students in five to ten minutes. 
It has been six years since I last wrote about C-SPAN’s Bell Ringers. In that time the collection of activities has grown by leaps and bounds. There are now Bell Ringers about world history, branches of government, economics, education, Supreme Court cases, and more than two dozen other topics. Here’s a recent Bell Ringer about identifying fake news stories. 

Applications for Education

Bell Ringers are equally suitable for in-person and online classrooms. In an online classroom I’d have students watch the videos and answer questions independently in Google Classroom then bring the group together in Zoom to discuss a few responses. Without making them write answers before discussion some students would probably avoid watching or participating as the videos themselves aren’t terribly entertaining even though they are quite informative. 



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