I'm in love with these Standards-Based Bell Ringers for Civics and American Government. Because they're centered around critical thinking, these bell ringers provide curriculum-focused enrichment for both middle and high school students! The kids adore them -- they're fun to fill out, lead to great discussions, and because the Bell Ringers are specific to the curriculum, they can be used as study materials throughout the year!
What we have here are 10 weeks of Standards-Based Bell Ringers for Civics and American Government. Each week is centered around a different standard/objective in the Florida Middle School Civics Curriculum. I've got all the Bell Ringer topics and corresponding Standards listed below. Basically, every week you can choose a Bell Ringer based on the material you're covering -- Civics & Citizenship, maybe, or The Rights & Responsibilities of Citizens! The Intolerable King George or John Locke & the Social Contract! These Bell Ringers are made to fit your Civics or American Government curriculum.
Because these Bell Ringers are focused on each standard, they make for great enrichment for the core curriculum. Prompts range from illustrating key terms, thinking about the big ideas behind each objective, practicing End of Course Exam questions, and fun and introspective questions about their own life as it relates to the curriculum. Rather than Bell Ringers being something separate from the day's lesson, these feed right into the material you'll be covering in class!
In this resource, you can get the entire First Quarter of Civics Bell Ringers. This includes 10 weeks of Bell Ringers, or 50 prompts: 9 weeks worth of Standards-Based enrichment, from introducing Citizenship all the way to the Declaration of Independence, as well as a general Civics: the Study of Citizenship sheet perfect for the first week of school!
Here are the topics with their corresponding Florida State Standards: (Which should be easily relatable to other states, as well.)
1. Civics: the Study of Citizenship | A welcome week perfect for the first week of school. Ease students into the curriculum by asking them to interpret a John F. Kennedy quote ("Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."), create a word wall based on the word "government", and write about an issue affecting the world that they would like to see solved.
2. Who is a Citizen? | SS.7.C.2.1 Defining Citizenship. Among the topics this week, students reflect on what it means to be "of good moral character", illustrate the concepts Law of Blood and Law of Soil, and consider what the three natural rights "Life, Liberty, and Property" mean to them.
3. The Obligations of Citizenship | SS.7.C.2.2 and SS.7.C.2.3 Citizen Obligations & Responsibilities. This week defines Civic Duties and asks students about obligations and responsibilities in their own lives. Students illustrate the five civic duties and reflect on whether women should have to sign up for the Selective Service.
4. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship | SS.7.C.2.2 and SS.7.C.2.3 Citizen Obligations & Responsibilities. This week asks about the students' experiences volunteering, includes an End of Course Exam "EOC Prep" of sample curriculum-based test questions, has them interpret a Barack Obama quote, and lets them design a protest sign based on a school issue they would like to see changed.
5. Forms of Government | SS.7.C.3.1 Forms of Government. This week defines various forms of government, has the students illustrate each, includes more EOC prep, and asks students what they would do if given a kingdom to rule.
6. Origins of Government | SS.7.C.1.1 The Enlightenment and Its Influence, SS.7.C.1.2 Influential Documents, and SS.7.C.1.9 Rule of Law. This week introduces the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, and Mayflower Compact. Students are asked to identify whether these documents represent limited or self-government, to think about the importance of Rule of Law, and to empathize with the plight of the American Colonists.
7. John Locke & the Social Contract | SS.7.C.1.1 The Enlightenment and Its Influence, SS.7.C.1.2 Influential Documents. This week covers the concept of the Social Contract. Students consider Social Contracts in their own lives, question whether slavery was a breach of the Social Contract, and complete a word search for natural rights.
8. The Intolerable King George | SS.7.C.1.3 The Road to Independence. Students write a short letter as an American colonist protesting taxation without representation, as well as illustrate the various taxes and acts the Parliament levied against the colonists, and consider whether the British overreacted to the Boston Tea Party.
9. Thomas Paine: Common Sense | SS.7.C.1.2 Influential Documents. Students reflect on their own moments of rebellion, identify tyrannical governments throughout history, analyze a political cartoon, and rewrite quotes from Common Sense in their own words as Tweets.
10. Declaration of Independence | SS.7.C.1.4 Declaration of Independence. Students consider grievances mentioned in the Declaration and muse on why these actions upset the Colonists; connect the Declaration of Independence to the Social Contract, and write about a time when they wished their parents would have given them more freedom.
This pack also contains an optional Bell Ringer Cover Sheet and Student Contract, as well as a handy grading sheet with student and teacher reflection!
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