Common Core offers an incentive for teachers to use historic documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based (DBQ) instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:
- The right documents.
- Knowing how to look at them.
- Letting students discover their own patterns, then asking students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
- Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.
Class 4 offers strategies for assisting students to more closely read a document (in all their multimedia formats) by answering three Common Core questions.
- What did it say?
- How did it say it?
- What’s it mean to me?
Here’s a pdf handout of my slide deck Week 4 HandOut (6 MB pdf)
Next our class examined two sample DBQ’s that I have designed. The first is my iBook “Progress and Poverty in Industrial America” ~ Free at iTunes. The second is the PDF version of my Homefront iBook series. Link to free PDF.
Students will be assigned the task of designing their own DBQ.
Title: “An A B C, for baby patriots”
Creator: Ames, Mary Frances
Publisher: Dean & Son
Place of Publication: London (160a Fleet Street E.C.)
Publication Date: 
Archive: University of Florida UF00086056:00001