I is for India,
Our land to the East
Where everyone goes
To shoot tigers, and feast
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 a document-based lesson (DBL) 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. These historical thinking skills correlate with edTPA’s language functions.
- Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.
Class 7 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? See: SHEG – Sourcing, Contextualizing
- What’s it mean to me? See: SHEG – Corroborating
Here’s a handout of my slide deck 1.7MB pdf
Students will design their own literacy document based lesson. See assignment here (note – various due dates)
For source material refer to our edMethods Toolkit – Be The Historian
Here’s some some sample DBLs that I have designed:
- Progress and Poverty in Industrial America a pdf version one of my DBQ iBooks at iTunes. It uses 11 documents, which is a bit more than I expect for your DBQ.
- Great Debates in American History 12 debates designed to accompany Daniel Boorstin’s “A History of the United States.”
- What did Europeans see when they looked at the New World and the Native Americans? a collection of images and text that explores misunderstanding of the New World
- Work, Culture and Society in Industrial America three DBLs that look at the impact of industrialization in late 19th c America
Page from: “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