Using DBQ*s to Assess Student Learning

Using Document Based
Questions to Assess Student
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Schedule for the day
Session 1: 8:15-9:35
What does a DBQ look like
at the different grade
Session 2: 9:40-11:00
DBQ Assessment Process
Lunch 11:00-12:30
Session 3: 12:30- 1:50
Implementing DBQ Skills
Session 4: 1:55-2:55
Putting It All Together
Goals for the day
• Understand how to implement historical
writing routinely grades 6-12
• Understand the benefits of using historical
documents to write
• Understand how the writing and analysis
process works
• Leave here with strategies and resources you
can implement immediately within your
What we need from you…
Good Attitude
Stay focused
Ask questions
Be Professionals
Plan to Implement
• I don’t have enough time to have students
write in class I have too much material to
• I don’t want to grade ALL those essays.
• My students can’t write an essay- they don’t
even know how to write a complete sentence.
• Students just plagiarize these days.
• I’m not an English teacher- I don’t know what
to grade.
Why do we need to
Write in History Classes?
• Students need to learn how to think.
• Learning to think requires frequent and
ongoing practice in thinking.
• Thinking is hard work.
• Thinking is for all students.
• Thinking is clarified by writing.
- DBQ Project
Why a Document Based
• Promotes Thinking
• Develops Writing Skills
• Allows for group work in document analysis
and peer editing.
• Builds confidence for students to enroll in AP
Session 1: What does the DBQ
look like at various levels?
Grade Level
6th World Cul
7th TX His
8th US His
World Geo (9th)
World His (10th)
US History (11th)
GOV/ECO (12th)
What is the
How are the
What does the teacher
need to know to prepare
the students?
5 minute break
Session 2 9:40-11:00
DBQ Assessment Process
Rubric Building
1. What are the common elements that DBQs share at every
2. How do these elements factor into grading?
3. What can rubrics look like and how do they assist in the
grading process?
What are the common
elements that DBQs share at
every level?
To be successful, students have to do the following:
• quickly read and understand document content
• interpret documents to use as evidence to answer a question
• craft a cohesive and persuasive written argument using
document evidence
Session 3 will cover how to teach these 3 distinct skills
to students
Purpose of DBQ Rubrics
1. Measure distinct DBQ skills
• Understanding
• Interpreting
• Crafting an argument
2. Provide effective feedback to students (goal: future
• Must be timely (while the question and process
are fresh)
• Must be specific (grade alone doesn’t facilitate
3. Facilitate grading
• Must make the process relatively easy for teachers
• Must encourage consistency in grading from student to
Types of Rubrics
Holistic Scoring
Core Scoring
Scale Scoring
Holistic Scoring
The 8-9 Essay
• Essays are judged in
their entirety
• Scores are assigned
based on successful
• demonstration of skills
and understanding
• Scores divided into
ranges based on the
Contains a well-developed thesis that addresses all
parts of the question
Supports the thesis with effective analysis
Effectively uses a substantial number of documents
Supports thesis with substantial and relevant outside
May contain minor errors
Is clearly organized and well written
The 5-7 Essay
Contains a thesis that addresses part of the question
Has limited or implicit analysis
Effectively uses some documents
Supports the thesis with some relevant outside
May have errors that do not seriously detract from
the quality of the essay
Shows acceptable organization and writing; language
errors do not interfere with the comprehension of
the essay
Core Scoring
• Essay are judged for core elements
• Scores are based on the accumulation
of successful core parts (given points)
• Scores developed from this accumulation of points
Scale Scoring
• Essays are judged in
their entirety
• Scores are based on
achieving key skills
• Scores are qualitative
and descriptive in
Core Scoring 10th Grade
Scale Scoring
Any Grade
• How did using the rubric facilitate grading?
• How did using the rubric facilitate giving
students feedback?
• What was difficult about grading still?
Tips for Grading
• Don’t score for grammar
• Think of these as rough drafts
– Grade ideas, analysis, use of evidence, structure of
the argument
• Teach the rubric to students before writing
Tips for Grading
• Standardize or grade a few with a fellow
teacher first to establish a standard
• Read through some of your students to see a
spread of responses before you start grading
• Have students grade according to rubric
– Peer grade
– Ratiocination
Tips for Grading
• Full DBQ is summative – grading parts of the
process before this step is crucial
– Grade thesis one time
– Grade use of evidence another time
• Feedback must be timely
– the more times you grade, the better you’ll get
Break- Lunch see you at
Session 3 12:30-1:50
Speaker- describe what you know about
the person who wrote the document
Occasion- what was going on in history
Audience- who is the reader? Who is the
person speaking to?
Purpose- intent, reason, goal
Subject- topic
Speaker- describe what you know about
the person who wrote the document
Occasion- what was going on in history
Audience- who is the reader? Who is the
person speaking to?
Purpose- intent, reason, goal
Point of view- authors background
Subject- topic
Implied attitude toward the subject
and the audience
Overview- what do you think this is?
Parts- pieces of the picture
Title- what is it and how does it help you
understand the picture
Interrelationship- connections between
the parts and the title
Conclusion- why is this picture
important historically
On the Move Analysis
• With your group choose
a poster
• Each person pick a
letter that you will be
responsible for (SOAPSwritten documents,
• On your sticky note
write your letter and
the correct response.
• When all group
members are complete
• write one conclusion
about the document at
the bottom of the
• At your new document:
– Add 2 scaffolding questions that would help a
student with analyzing this document
• At your new document:
– Answer the 2 scaffolding questions
• Tactile document analysis method
• Label the cubes SOAPS or OPTIC
• Each group completes one letter for the
• Presenter shares the document and the letter
explanation that was rolled.
White Board Warm Ups
• Source: Las Vegas & Greenland Tourism
1.What do both of these places have in common
as to how their physical geography impacts
their human geography?
• After reading through all the documents
students determine where they will use them
in their essay.
Reason 1
Document B
Reason 2
Documents A,C
Reason 3
Document A,D
• Everyone throw one shoe in the center of the
• Volunteer #1
– Group the shoes anyway you want
– Explain your grouping strategy
• Volunteer #2
– Group the shoes in a different way
– Explain your grouping strategy
• Group the shoes this time according to the
following prompt:
– “How can these shoes represent globalization?”
Understanding DBQ Prompts
Explain – How and why
a) Identify two animals.
b) Describe the two animals.
c) Explain how one has an
advantage over the other.
• The “primary reason” is one thing – If you
laundry list you will not get credit.
• Do not say “Because the dog is bigger.”—THAT
IS DESCRIBING. Explain why the dog being
bigger gives him an advantage over the kitty.
• Explain – be able to answer “and so what?” –
good idea is to use the sentence and throw in
a “because” and be able to answer that.
Thesis Writing
• Since it is NOT acceptable to simply restate the
question we will be using a formula. The Thesis
Formula: X. However, A, B, and C. Therefore, Y.
• ‘X’ represents the strongest point against your
• ‘A, B, and C’ represent the three strongest points for
your argument.
• ‘Y’ represents the position you will be taking; in
other words, your stand on the prompt.
Thesis Statement
Question or Thesis
Main Idea #2
The Good, the Bad, the
The Question:
Analyze the changes that occurred during the
1960s and the goals, strategies, and support
of the movement for African American civil
The Civil Rights movement in the
United States gave more
American Rights.
Does not answer the prompt
Many changes occurred in the
1960s in the goals, strategies,
and changes in the movement
for civil rights
Answers the prompt but is not very specific.
Re-states the question.
Civil rights goals shifted from
achieving legal equality to social
and economic rights in the mid1960s. As the movement
broadened nationally, methods
shifted from nonviolence to
violence. Support for civil rights
fractured along racial and
generational lines.
Preparing for the DBQ: 15
Minute Drill
• Read the prompt. What is the task? What is
the prompt asking you to determine or
• Create your conceptual framework.
• Brainstorm SPECIFIC background information.
Place as much SPECIFIC information in the
space provided below.
Analyze the ways in which the Vietnam War heightened
social, political, and economic tensions in the United
States. Focus your answer on t he period 1964 to 1975
Putting it all together
• Document sources other than print can:
– Keep students engaged
– Expand source material
– Feel good
Caribbean Culture DBQ:
The Music of Bob Marley &
the Wailers
• Analyze each document (song)
• Discuss keep points of each document with
your small group
• Group the documents into categories
• Create a thesis to share with the class
– Be prepared to explain which documents go in
which groups
Session 4: 2:05-3:00
Putting it All Together
“I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent
rewriter.” James Michener
“The wastebasket is a writer's best friend.” Isaac
"I write to find out what I think.“ Stephen King
Putting it All Together
Truths about writing
1. The writing process embodies higher order
2. Writing is a skill; practice is the only way to
3. Timely, specific constructive feedback leads to
Putting it All Together
Truths about teaching writing
1. It requires planning, preparation, and practice
throughout an academic year; it is not just a
summative exercise for tests.
2. To elicit higher order responses, questions/prompts
must also be higher order and not just definitional.
3. Times for feedback, conferencing, and peer
grading/editing should be included; students must
see and discuss writing to know how to improve
What could this look like in a six weeks
Debrief DBQ
rubric and
sample prompt
Read and score
sample DBQ
Thesis writing
Doc analysis
Discuss new
DBQ prompt
Thesis writing
Group doc
analysis practice
Conference on
thesis writing
and outline
Final draft due
Peer editing
Peer scoring
Each activity
leading up
final draft
is a
Be wary of
grades that
mastery at
stages of the
All activities above do not take the entire block period – 30 minutes for most.
The first two days and the drafting day are the only times that 60 minutes is used
Goals for Session 4
• Develop and integrate a DBQ writing program in
your grade level.
– Integrate DBQ process into an existing unit
• Scaffold individual skills (Session 3) into lessons
– Include opportunities to draft and re-draft
– Include opportunities for teacher and student feedback
– At your campus - Create a DBQ
• Develop a higher level prompt according to grade level TEKS
• Share resources (print and internet) to build a document set
• Create a rubric that measures the essential DBQ skills
appropriate to your grade level
Thank you for coming
• Please complete online survey through
Eduphoria to earn credit for this course.

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