Print enough 'cards' for all the classes you teach OR print and laminate to avoid printing each year. Then cut them apart and hand them one to each student as they enter the door. Allow student 10-20 minutes to create a paragraph about the task/question given them.
Have students write on a separate sheet of loose leaf paper a ONE PARAGRAPH (5-8 sentences, in ink) answer to the 'card' they are given. Tell them that there may not be a right answer so you are only grading on the fact that they did come up with an appropriate answer and did explain to the best of their ability.
Over the years I have told my student that history is full of "history questions" that may go unanswered by today's standards or even have a new and/or different answer. But, I love these types of questions because it makes students 'THINK' which is just why I love teaching history. Because most of history could be explain different today than yester year.
I also included a blank set of cards for your own use. Email me if you have different questions about this set of task cards or questions I should ask.