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DOCUMENT

BASED
QUESTIONS
H I S T O RY L E A D T E A C H E R M E E T I N G
M O N D A Y, D E C E M B E R 7 , 2 0 1 5

HISTORY-SOCIAL SCIENCE FRAMEWORK


CHAPTER 8 (DRAFT)
Teachers employ both the History Social Science Content and Analysis Skills standards
to develop their students critical thinking, oral language, reading, and writing
skills in a manner that is consistent with the California Common Core State Standards
for Literacy in History/Social Studies.
Teachers promote the development of students twenty-first century skills through
activities that allow students to think creatively, solve problems, work
collaboratively, communicate effectively, and connect learning from multiple
subject areas.
Students are given the opportunity to engage in discipline-specific inquiry by
learning, for example, how to analyze both primary and secondary sources as
evidence, and create their own historical arguments and interpretations.
Students are provided with discipline-specific support to develop their expository
writing ability, and in particular, their ability to write using a thesis, supported by
evidence and analysis.
Students are encouraged to seek connections between topics and evaluate and
organize ideas for their significance and relationship to each other.

DOCUMENT BASED QUESTIONS


Is inquiry based
Requires students to build learning from multiple sources
Requires students take a look at issues from multiple
perspectives
Requires students to take positions on issues or problems
and support their conclusions
Provides an opportunity for students to experience the
connection between reading, thinking, speaking, and
writing
Focuses on critical thinking skills
Provides students a chance to interact with historical

EXAMPLES OF DOCUMENT BASED


QUESTIONS
What do each of the examples have in common?
What is different?
What will students need to do/know in order to be
successful?
What needs to be in place before students begin
working on a DBQ assignment?

WHERE TO BEGIN?
1. Begin with an Essential Question. This should be an
investigative/inquiry based question, and students will write their
essay answering it.
Possible Stems:
Assess the validity of the statement
To what extent
Explain why
Compare and contrast
In what way(s)
Describe the changes
Analyze

2. Determine whether students will be writing an Argumentative


Essay or an Informational/Explanatory Essay.

WHERE TO BEGIN?
3. Determine what background information the
students will need prior to be given the DBQ
assignment.
4. Select the appropriate documents. Be sure to
consider:
Reading level (simplify or edit as necessary)
Length of documents
Types of documents (balance between print and non-print
texts)
Purpose of each document

TYPES OF DOCUMENTS
Textbook excerpts
Letters
Newspaper articles
Charts and Graphs
Maps
Certificates
Court records
Edicts and Laws
Government documents

Posters
Diary entries
Financial records
Illustrations and
Paintings
Photographs
Editorial Cartoons
Speeches
Oral interviews
Song lyrics

WHERE TO BEGIN?
5. Determine the sequence of the presentation of the
documents.
6. Write at least one key question for each document.
These guiding questions will help the students
answer the Essential Question.
7. Review the SBAC rubrics for the essay assignment.
Create other rubrics as necessary.

COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION,
AND CRITICAL THINKING
Model the type of thinking you expect them to practice
Have a systematic approach to cooperative learning
Model cooperative learning expectations
Have students read/view the document multiple times
Hold students accountable for their individual work as
well as their participation in their groups
Circulate and monitor groups as they are working
Check for understanding frequently
Remind students they are thinking like historians

WRITING THE ESSAY


Analyze writing prompt and rubric in class
together
Provide an exemplar
Follow the writing process
Scaffold as needed

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