You know that if you look around enough you will come up with different types of things you can use in your own classroom. This is one of them. I generally begin my year with a little research on Louisiana parishes. Nothing major, but something that gives my students a "heads-up" on things we will be covering during the school year. And as I tell them, this is the ONLY time they will see this unless they got to college to become a history teacher.
This includes worksheets for research, a test, and a puzzle with answer sheets included.