Exciting Learning in MS Social Studies
The 6-8th grade social studies teachers are incorporating 4 DBQ units into their curriculum this year. What is a DBQ? DBQ stands for Document Based Questions. The social studies team has partnered with a group called “The DBQ Project” to encourage students to solve history’s mysteries through the lens of those living it.
Students are first asked a question that promotes inquiry and debate. A couple example questions used by the social studies teachers include: “Was the U.S. justified in going to war with Mexico?” or “What were the Primary Reasons for the Fall of Rome?” After this, we spend time dissecting, discussing and debating primary and secondary documents using a series of document based questions (hence the DBQ title) tied to the overall unit question. Students are then assessed on their explanation of the sources and a written essay arguing their stance on the issue being discussed. This process allows students to learn the skills historians practice on a daily basis while having fun at the same time! DBQs also prepare students with historical thinking skills they’ll apply in high school social studies courses and college curriculum.