Social Studies: Creating DBQs

The internet makes it so much fun to create document based activities, and I am fast coming to the conclusion that my text books will get even less use next year than they did this year.  I have also become much more adept at creating these, and each year brings a new batch tailored for our Social Studies curriculum.  For each topic, I like to assemble the following:
  • at least two maps
  • two to three political cartoons
  • to to three paintings, illustrations photographs
  • excerpts from diaries, letters, newspaper articles
  • text sources – either from our text book or from another source
I number all pages and key them to questions, so that my kids are never puzzled as to where to turn for information.  This also allows them to work independently at their table groups, so that they can move at their own pace if they wish to.  I try to  limit the questions to ten, and also ask for a paragraph at the end to synthesize their knowledge – a “what is your take away” from this dbq? 
It used to take me hours to create these, but now that I’ve saved enough information banks on my “favorites” I can access maps and so on easily.  My students love these dbqs (really, they DO!) because they get  to examine primary source documents and figure things out for themselves…within a predictable framework.  And I love them because it gives me a chance to roam around and listen to their thinking processes, nudging them when I have to and allowing them to expand on ideas when they get caught up in a painting or a political cartoon that sparks connections and new thinking. 

Thank you for reading my blog! Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s