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Let me say how proud I am of these Task Cards but there is such a strange story they came about. I began using some task cards years and years ago but I only have a limited few of them for each Louisiana/American chapter. However, after a while I thought "There's got to be a better way" I came up with my "LaGumbos [my Louisiana history questions]" (found here on TPT). I started creating and using them for a few years before testing and as 'Constructive Response questions,' which made me think back on my 'writing activities'. After years of doing them, I again beefed up my Task Cards and made them a bigger part of my history class. I began using my LaGumbos on Monday thru Thursday and my Task Cards on Fridays. Before long, things started going well and my students loved the writing/short answer ideas.
However, I have to tell you that these cards became the hardest to start by the most fun to create since I love telling stories and asking "What if…" questions. As a history degree teacher, you learn to teach all subjects in middle school and I love reading/art/math/thinking about the stories I could tell, the writing I could require, and artwork I could assign. I made these task cards hoping that it would make it easier to teach for ME and YOU.
Print and laminate enough 'card sheets' for each class you teach to avoid printing a set each year. Then, cut them apart and hand them - one to each student - as they enter the classroom door. Allow student 5-10 minutes to create a paragraph (3-8 sentences) about the task/question given them while you take roll, do the administrative things required, answer questions, etc. Re-mix and use different cards on different days. Even try this as your Do Now daily assignment.
Have students write on a separate sheet of loose leaf paper or in their notebook and a ONE PARAGRAPH (3-8 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 it 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 new and/or different answers. 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 yesteryear.
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 have asked.