I recognized that my students really didn't have a solid understanding of the difference between continents, countries, and cities and that placing locations geographically on a map was a struggle. I was brainstorming ways for my students to gain a broad overview of all the countries of the world, but knew that I had limited class time (don't we all!). That's when I came up with this idea for a daily bell ringer.
I also knew that using the internet appropriately for research is a critical skill, and being able to quickly and effectively pull information from a site is important. I also knew that if my students could pull data from the United Nations Human Development Index, they would be able to identify trends and patterns among countries throughout the world. I also wanted my students to learn important historical information, and geographic features. I put all of these components together to create a World Geography Bell Ringer.
This bell ringer includes a print version as well as a digital version set up in Google Slides. Since this is a tech-based bell ringer, and to save on ink, you might want to assign this digitally.
By the end of the year, students gain a broad understanding of 200+ countries, territories, and special collectives of the world. Students discover facts and use the internet to research important data about a different country every day (5 days a week). This resource covers both physical and human geography.
I love that this bell ringer can not only be used as an entry task or warm-up, but it can serve as a daily mini-lesson or a task for early finishers. This journal works great as group work, an independent study, or as a station activity.
This bell ringer spans 40 weeks. I decided to organize countries by continent for easy implementation. Plus, this resource is EDITABLE, because I know that our classes vary and our needs are not all the same. Because I made this editable, the questions can be added, deleted, or changed to meet different curriculum needs. You'll just need access to PowerPoint to edit.
Answer keys are included. 😊
I've included a map of each continent, so students can color in the country as they go. Here's the breakdown for each continent:
Africa = 11 Weeks
Africa: 11 Weeks
Asia = 10 Weeks
Europe = 10 Weeks
North America/Central America = 5 Weeks
South America = 2.5 Weeks
Oceania = 2 Weeks
Topics within this journal include:
Location on the map
Human Development Index Ranking (HDI)
Gini Rank (wealth distribution)
GDP (per capita)
Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
Adult Literacy Rate
Expected Years of Schooling
Mean Years in School
Access to Clean Water
Historical Dates of Importance
Dates of Independence
My intent for this resource was for my students to gain a broad understanding of the world by using the internet to research and learn about a new country every day. With daily implementation, students notice specific trends as they analyze each country--the data speaks for itself. In order to cover as many countries as this resource includes, it is not feasibly possible to cover every key historical moment or every data point for every country.
Here are a few tips for implementing this bell ringer:
When I first introduce this bell ringer, I start by modeling how to use the UN Human Development Index website. The resource link is provided on the student info sheet, so students can easily navigate to the site. To find the flag and determine the country, use the Countries Profile page.
Then students can click on the country and use the HDI information to answer the questions. Some of the questions will require students to research using an online encyclopedia. I like to use Britannica Online.
I model how to navigate the websites. I show students how to look for bold words and read titles to quickly find information. They do not need to read every paragraph of the encyclopedia. This skill is an important one and takes time to learn how to do quickly and effectively. After I had modeled this process for a week or two, I release my students to do this on their own.
Different Ways to Implement:
Print a complete journal for each student and spiral bind or place in a binder. Complete one country each day. Complete the reflection section at the end of the week. Divider sheets with maps are included for each continent for easy organization. Students can also label the countries on the map along the way.
OR Print specific continents/pages that match your curriculum (example, if you are studying European history, just focus on Europe.)
Assign the digital version to save on printing. This is set up in Google Slides, and is ready to go with text boxes for students to type in their response.
Don't have a class set of computers or tablets? One option is to display the page for the whole class using your projector. Complete as a class, or rotate students to help with the research. Choose a new student(s) each day to complete the research and share their findings with the whole class.
Some Research Tips:
This resource includes a “Research Tips” page for your students. This resource will involve using the internet for research. Your students can gather information from encyclopedias online or atlas. Many countries have websites. Travel sites have good information too. Your students will need to access the Human Development Reports for data, and will also need to get online to find the latest GDP numbers. A link to this website is included in the file.
To access a FREE one week sample, to try before you buy, click here:
What Teachers are Saying about this Bell Ringer:
"I use these every week for my Bell Ringer! It has made this year so much easier on me! It's the best bell ringers I have ever used!"- S.B.
"My kids loved getting their day started by researching the next country. It was a good way to get them in their seats and ready to learn." -C.K.