Nearly all of us have asked pupils to jot down 10 things about a topic as a useful starter to get students focused. It works pretty well, but I have discovered that the motivation is so much higher if you ask them to compare their list with an experts.
A really good example recently was 10 facts that everyone needs to know to really understand why war broke out in 1914. An OK activity in its own right but would the website History Hits say the same. At the end of term I saw this interesting use of the 11 facts about the aftermath of the First World War, also from History Hits. How many would include the Russian Revolution? What about the Baltic starts? The Middle East?
The compilation of the list in the first place , done in pairs, provoked useful discussion in its own right about what to include and what to leave out. But the activity really went deep when students saw what the experts had said. Not only did they feel really chuffed that there was so much agreement; they also learned to take a wider perspective of events . They had adopted a very Anglo-Centric one.
Why not try the top 10 medical inventions in Britain in the last 100 years which has been on this site for a while, along with the answers today’s doctors give.