Every year I have more and more teachers ask about how I "open" class and I tell them we start with a LaGumbo and the Fact-of-the-Day (found on this site). They all seem to want copies of my "LaGumbos" not really knowing what they are. LaGumbo is my version of ELA's Daily Oral Language activity. A LAGumbo covers just about anything in Louisiana history and general does not require a book. It is geared towards just general Louisiana knowledge. I grade them daily as either right or wrong - you get a bonus point if you have all questions right - or complete the assignment properly - and nothing if you miss any part of the LaGumbo.
Since I have gone more "techie" my LaGumbos have moved to power-point but they are the same question, I use the same printed LaGumbo sheets just with blank lines for the answers.
Since LaGumbos are printed 3 days to a sheet they need to be cut in a much smaller handout form to each student. Students are given 4-5 minutes per day to answer the questions then I take them up. They are easy to grade - either all right or they are wrong. Once I pick them up everyday, I go over the answers in a very quick review. I ask the students for the answers - the highest point in Louisiana is? [Driskill Mountain]. When we cover the three answers we move on to the lesson for the day. I don't make a big deal out of these, they are just a way to check general knowledge and a way to cover lots of material in a short time period.
If you have any LaGumbo ideas, please email them them my way and I will add them to our 'year-long' list.