Topic starter
One or two questions to help warm a class to a new topic
What are they:

Topic starters are used by teachers to focus and engage their students at the beginning of a new topic.

These questions related to the topic to come, but not designed to assess any deep knowledge in the students. Rather the intention is to spark enthusiasm in the class and get them excited and interested in the new topic.

  • Set up a new topic with your class
  • Engage students with a low-touch and fun question
  • Preamble to new content that is easy to understand and engage with
  • Gives students the opportunity to reflect on pre-existing knowledge ahead of a new topic
Example questions:
What are three things you know about dinosaurs?
Text Response
What are you most looking forward to about today’s lesson on the Olympics?
Text Response
What do you already know about World War One?
Text Response
How well would you say you already understand long division?
1-7 Scale
What is one thing you already know about American History?
Text Response
Follow up activities:
  • Share responses with the class and discuss why the responses are relevant 
  • Introduce the new topic to the class more formally
Pro tip:

Present responses in a word cloud to your class to show them what the class already knows. This helps the class contextualize the topic in a way that their classmates do and engenders curiosity and engagement.

Access a library of template questions

Ziplet contains over 250+ template questions you can use with your students including the ones used for this check-in.

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