Revolutionising History Education: Embracing TikTok-Style Video Bellringers in the Classroom to be No.1.

Bellringers on reels
Bellringers on Video Reels

Creating an engaging and effective history class can be challenging, especially when it comes to initiating student interest at the beginning of each session. Bellringer activities, a staple in many classrooms, offer a unique opportunity to captivate students’ attention right from the start. By incorporating a modern twist, such as the use of TikTok-style video bellringers, educators can enhance the learning experience and connect with students in a medium they are familiar with and enjoy.

The Structure of History Class Bellringers

Bellringers, often lasting five to ten minutes at the start of a class, serve several key purposes:

  1. Transition into Learning Mode: They help students shift their focus from the hustle of transitioning between classes to a mindset conducive to learning.
  2. Review and Reinforcement: These activities can reinforce previously taught concepts, aiding in retention and understanding.
  3. Skill Development: Bellringers can focus on developing specific historical thinking skills like analyzing primary sources, comparing perspectives, or chronological reasoning.
  4. Assessment and Feedback: They provide a quick way for teachers to assess students’ understanding and offer immediate feedback.
  5. Engagement and Curiosity: Well-designed bellringers spark curiosity and engage students, setting a positive tone for the rest of the class.

Traditional bellringers might include short quizzes, discussion questions, analysis of a historical document, or a quick writing prompt. However, the integration of technology, especially social media formats, can revolutionize these activities.

Embracing the TikTok Approach: Video Bellringers

TikTok and other popular platforms are among middle and high school students, can be harnessed educationally to create engaging bellringers:

  1. Short and Engaging Format: TikTokโ€™s format of short, visually engaging videos aligns well with the time constraints of bellringer activities.
  2. Multimedia Learning: Videos can combine text, images, and sounds to cater to different learning styles.
  3. Current and Relatable: Using a platform familiar to students makes the learning process more relatable and less intimidating.
  4. Creativity and Innovation: Teachers can create or curate historical content that is both educational and entertaining, potentially increasing student engagement.

Ideas for TikTok-Style Reels Video Bellringers

  • Historical Reenactments: Short clips reenacting historical events that prompt discussion or inquiry.
  • Primary Source Analysis: Presenting a primary source (image, text, audio) in a video format and asking students to analyze its context and significance.
  • Historical Trivia and Facts: Quick, intriguing facts about historical events or figures to pique interest.
  • Current Events Connection: Linking historical content to current events to demonstrate relevance.
  • Student-Created Content: Encouraging students to create their own TikTok-style historical content as a class project.

The Value of Video Bellringers in History Education

Integrating TikTok-style video bellringers into history education offers several benefits:

  1. Increased Engagement: The familiar and dynamic format can capture students’ attention more effectively than traditional methods.
  2. Diverse Perspectives: Videos can easily incorporate diverse viewpoints and narratives, providing a more comprehensive understanding of history.
  3. Adaptability: Video content can be easily updated or modified to suit different class needs or current events.
  4. Enhanced Digital Literacy: Engaging with digital content creation and analysis helps develop students’ digital literacy skills, an essential competency in today’s world.
  5. Motivation and Interest: By using a platform students enjoy, teachers can foster a more positive attitude towards learning history.

Implementing TikTok-Style Bellringers Responsibly

While the benefits are clear, there are also considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Age-Appropriate Content: Ensure the content is suitable for the age group and adheres to school policies.
  2. Accessibility: Make sure all students can access the content, considering those who might not have smartphones or internet access at home.
  3. Balancing Entertainment and Education: While engagement is key, the primary focus should remain on educational value.
  4. Privacy and Safety: Be aware of privacy and safety concerns when using social media platforms in an educational setting.

You can purchase video History bell ringers for your US History programs here.


The use of TikTok-style video bellringers in history classes represents an innovative approach to education, aligning with modern student interests and digital trends. This method not only enhances engagement but also offers a platform for diverse, creative, and adaptable learning experiences. By carefully implementing these tools, educators can make history lessons more dynamic, relevant, and enjoyable for students, fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of the subject.

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