The ABC's of the DBQ


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The ABC's of the DBQ

  1. 1. The ABC’s of the DBQ… Brandon Wiley Director of Staff Development/Social Studies (K-12) West Seneca Central School District
  2. 2. What is a DBQ? <ul><li>A document-based essay question measure the ability of students to work with multiple perspectives on social studies issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine 6 to 8 sources on a particular historic theme or issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to questions following each document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate documents and outside knowledge into an essay response </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The DBQ represents “real world” or authentic assessment in that students: <ul><li>Read and analyze passages, charts, graphs, cartoons, and other visuals </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehend, evaluate and synthesize the information into a coherent package </li></ul><ul><li>DBQs assess both content and skills while incorporating higher order thinking </li></ul>
  4. 4. Constructed Response <ul><li>The constructed response portion of the test requires students to analyze a series of documents and answer several questions for each document. The questions are intended to build in difficulty, some requiring outside knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>On this portion of the assessment, the documents are not related to one another. They can include a variety of document types. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What types of documents are used? <ul><li>Graphs </li></ul><ul><li>Charts </li></ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Cartoons </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs </li></ul><ul><li>Artwork </li></ul><ul><li>Eyewitness accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Historical passages </li></ul>
  6. 6. Scaffolding Questions <ul><li>This portion of the assessment again requires students to analyze a series of documents. The documents are provided to help scaffold students’ background before writing the document-based essay. The number of documents typically can range from 4 – 9. The document are all related to the one another or the task . </li></ul><ul><li>Each document is followed by a series of questions. The questions are intended to build in difficulty, some requiring outside knowledge. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Historical Background <ul><li>The document based question begins by providing students with a historical background. This background “sets the stage” for the documents students will analyze and the task which they will write about. </li></ul><ul><li>The historical background may be paraphrased in the students’ introduction, but should not be copied. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>The historical background is followed by the task . The task explains to students what their final essay must be about. </li></ul><ul><li>Students must be taught to “break down” the task, as it may include multiple parts or requirements. </li></ul>
  9. 9. DBQ Writing is Different… <ul><li>Students need to understand that the writing they must produce for a DBQ essay is somewhat different than the writing required in ELA or for creative purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>When I write a story (narrative), I need a beginning , middle and an end . But papers that share information (expository) have introductions , body paragraphs (development and explanation) and conclusions . </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>An introduction tells the reader what to expect and what information will be shared. </li></ul><ul><li>The beginning of a story pulls the reader into the story; it does not always give the reader advance warning of what is to come. </li></ul><ul><li>DBQ writing is about giving the reader information. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why Do We Need to Teach Expository Writing? <ul><li>Most of the writing that students will be asked to do in school and in the workplace will be expository. </li></ul><ul><li>Expository writing teaches writers to think clearly and logically. </li></ul><ul><li>Expository writing helps students learn content. </li></ul><ul><li>Expository writing prepares students to give speeches and oral presentations. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to write clear paragraphs, reports and essays gives students confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to write clear paragraphs, reports and essays helps students perform better on writing assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>Mastering expository writing helps students be productive citizens who are able to take an active role in community affairs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step-Up to Writing, Teacher’s Manual, p. 2-4 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Rubric The rubric is intended to be applied holistically to the piece.
  13. 13. Five-Step Model for Prewriting the Essay <ul><li>Step One </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the question and highlight (underline) action words. Determine required tasks. Identify key: words, eras, names, issues or categories </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Step Two <ul><li>“ Break down” the task and consider all parts of the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a visual representation to highlight each portion of the task (e.g. a web or outline) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Step Three <ul><li>Brainstorm the topic or era. Write down key facts about the topic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This encourages students to get down all of their “outside knowledge” before even seeing the documents. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Step Four <ul><li>Read and analyze the documents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight (underline) key words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make margin notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the author and when it was written </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Point of view </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose of the document </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frame of reference </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type of document </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Step Five <ul><li>Make connections to outside historical information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students need to attach their outside information to the information presented in the documents. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Using a Graphic Organizer… <ul><li>I-chart </li></ul><ul><li>4-square </li></ul><ul><li>Webs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Multiparagraph Expository Writing… <ul><li>Multiparagraph Papers Include Five elements… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An introductory paragraph with a thesis statement and projected plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational information created by blocking out and creating informal outlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition topic sentences that introduce the key ideas supporting the thesis statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples and evidence that elaborate on the key ideas introduced in the transition topic sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion that refocuses the reader’s attention on the thesis statement </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Writing the Essay <ul><li>Write an introductory paragraph or thesis statement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A thesis statement is just like the topic sentence you write when you write a paragraph. The purpose of a thesis statement is to identify the topic (the reason for writing) and the position (what you plan to prove or explain). This statement controls the rest of the paper. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Write the Body Paragraphs <ul><li>Develop information citing supporting evidence from the documents and outside historical knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide evidence: details, specifics, examples and reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>List facts: dates, events, numbers, persons, places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address all elements of the question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make transitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a varied sentence structure: simple, compound and complex </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Using the Documents <ul><li>According to the rubric, students must use “one more than half” of the documents presented. </li></ul><ul><li>The preferred method for citing documents is parenthetically (Document 3) or simply by referring to information in the documents and implying their use. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid the list-like approach of, “In Document 3,” etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Outside knowledge should be incorporated where appropriate to support the piece </li></ul>
  23. 23. Write a Conclusion <ul><li>Restate the thesis and summarize major points </li></ul>
  24. 24. Let’s look at student work…