FREE SOCIAL STUDIES LESSON – “U.S. History Bell Ringers, Discussion Questions & Writing Prompts Sample”

by Impossible Things Learning
7th – 12th Grade

This set of ten sample prompts from my Brain-Stretcher collection is tailor-made for U.S. History and works equally well as writing prompts, bell ringers, or discussion questions. They get students thinking about topics that they will be exploring in class, finding relevance in the past, and reflecting on what they have learned. These Brain-Stretchers are truly versatile and are an absolute lifesaver in the classroom!

The questions in each prompt are purely opinion based (no right or wrong answers) so they are accessible to all students. Each individual Brain-Stretcher is neatly spaced onto its own pdf page (that displays nicely in full screen mode) and is between two to five sentences long. To help students focus on the main idea of each prompt, one key sentence is in bold font.

This sample set contains five prompts from the “U.S. History Brain-Stretchers: Colonization to 1865” set and five prompts from the “U.S. History Brain-Stretchers: 1865 to Present” set. If you like this sample, be sure to click on the links below to take a closer look at each full set:

U.S. History Brain-Stretchers: Colonization to 1865

U.S. History Brain-Stretchers: 1865 to the Present

Whether you use these prompts to spark a lively debate, promote literacy in your classroom, or as “bell-ringers”, they are sure to make your classroom more engaging and purpose driven!

Wondering why I call them “Brain-Stretchers”? I like the idea of having students warm up their minds before we fully embark on our journey through the past in much the same way that athletes stretch their muscles before more vigorous exercise. As you can see from the positive student feedback that I have received, they are an ideal way to spark interest and get students thinking!

Looking for more great resources for teaching U.S. History? Be sure to check these out:

U.S. History: Famous Quotes Boom Cards™ Review Game

Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement Quotes Posters

“Would They Rather” Activities to Analyze Any Historical Figure

U.S. History: Unit Tests with Test Reviews BUNDLE (each test is also available individually)

U.S. History: Important People and Groups Boom Cards™ BUNDLE (each deck is also available individually)

CLICK HERE to follow Impossible Things Learning and be notified when I add new items to my store!

PS: The brain icon that I used was designed with resources from

Join The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative at
and get THOUSANDS OF PAGE VIEWS for your TpT products!

Victoria Leon’s TpT Store

Go to for even more free products!