If you are teaching high schoolers or you have ambitious middle schoolers, consider expanding your DBQ lessons to include peer review. This video breaks down one social studies teacher's method that works very well for her ninth grade AP World History students. It breaks down the parts of the essay that students are still trying to make sense of, such as thesis statements, and allow students to improve their understanding of the topic together.
New York's regents feature DBQs in their social studies tests. Because of this, there are many resources that any teacher from any state can benefit from, especially with potential summative assessments like essays. This site has convenient steps and examples to find ways to ensure your students are ready to show off all the skills they developed through the DBQ they just participated in.
I'll admit, when I was told I had to use DBQs with my seventh and eighth graders, I was pretty nervous! I know I'm not the only teacher who has felt this way. Luckily, Lucas Smith from Teaching Channel had similar concerns and was able to create a great framework for how to approach it in a middle school classroom. This thematic approach truly ensures that your middle school students truly follow your instruction.
The DBQ Project is a fantastic organization that creates scaffolded DBQs from elementary school students to high school students. This video introduces the organization and reiterates the importance of DBQs in the classroom, specifically in states that use Common Core. I have used their world Mini-Qs and have found them to be very successful in terms of engaging my students and allowing them to develop skills that will help them long after their time in my classroom.
Integrating DBQs in the classroom is not always a smooth transition. As discovered by a teacher writing to The Stanford History Education Group, there can be complications concerning struggling readers. Here's some potential modifications, and an example for US History teachers, to model what teachers can do to ensure student success.
Educator Peter Pappas is well-known for advocating that students must become historians in the classroom. One of the essential ways to do this is to have students actually go through the processes historians go through, like exploring documents. Pappas took the time to compile all of his resources in a lengthy, but informative presentation that is essential for any teacher interested in using DBQs to flip through.
When I started student teaching I was given this piece of advice by my supervisor- Even if you never teach an AP course, grab a copy of an AP strategy guide. Specifically, use them as a guide in terms of how to edit documents if you want to create your own document collection. Whenever I'm interested in using larger texts, I always make a point to flip through an AP guide to see if someone has already tried to do something similar.
If you're feeling adventerous, or a premade DBQ doesn't have what you're looking for, you can always look into sites like this to build your own! This one in particular has a breakdown of US history and world history sources. You can also look into having your students create their own DBQs as an end of the year project.