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Slide FREE DBQ FOR CLASSROOM USE!
Sign up for our Newsletter and receive a Free DBQ that asks students to Contextualize the January 2021 Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

**TEACHER KEY INCLUDED**
*RUBRIC INCLUDED*
We encourage you to use this DBQ, adapted for both middle school and high school students, in order to give students the opportunity to dive deeper into the historical context of the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Students are asked to evaluate the historical significance of the day using a variety of sources surrounding this dark day in U.S. History. Get Your Free DBQ

Overview Historical Thinking
Skills Overview
Argument
Development
Analyzing Historical
Evidence
The DBQs in our curriculum are centered on four Historical Thinking Skills: Causation, Comparison, Contextualization, and Continuity and Change over Time. While all DBQs highlight the foundational writing skills of argument development and analyzing textual evidence, we believe that these four historical skills deserve focused attention.

When students learn these four C's, they are not only better equipped to interpret the past, but to interpret our present.
Argument Development Historical Thinking
Skills Overview
Argument
Development
Analyzing Historical
Evidence
Arguments do not just appear, they are developed. Being equipped to develop an argument in light of the analysis of evidence promotes good citizenship, both in and out of the classroom. Students who can develop and articulate their arguments and opinions will be more intrigued to understand the arguments and opinions of others.
Analyzing Evidence Historical Thinking
Skills Overview
Argument
Development
Analyzing Historical
Evidence
The story of the past is marked by use of evidence. When evidence is properly analyzed, a clear story can be told. Students who analyze evidence from the past are more equipped to analyze evidence in the present. Then, picking up on bias becomes inherent, credibility can be assessed, and usefulness can be quantified.
Historical Thinking
Skills

Causation Causation Comparison Contextualization Continuity and
Change over Time
Life is complicated, and understanding that nothing has a singular cause reveals that. Students who can identify causes can identify solutions. Teaching causation in the history classroom is imperative for this skill to develop throughout students’ lives. This way, they can correctly identify the causes of their own historical moment and how to best improve it.
Comparison Causation Comparison Contextualization Continuity and
Change over Time
If our students are equipped to compare similarities and differences, they will be much stronger in assessing their communities around them—both local and global. Furthermore, the historical thinking skill of comparison breeds empathy by not simply showing how things are different, but what they have in common. This skill is necessary in any civic environment.
Contextualization Causation Comparison Contextualization Continuity and
Change over Time
Nothing happens in a vacuum. To understand any person, place, or event, one must understand what surrounds them—the context. The more that students see context as vital to understanding the past, the more equipped they are to understanding the context of the present. Learning to look for context helps students become empathetic listeners, seeking to gather more relevant information before jumping to conclusions.
CCoT Causation Comparison Contextualization Continuity and
Change over Time
To best understand history, it may be helpful to see the past as many histories. That is, there is not one simple story to describe the past. Rather, the past is filled with changes. Of course, even within the many changes that have taken place, there remain some continuities. Thus, recognizing patterns and trends, and where those patterns and trends end, is a key skill in civic and social life.

Slide Our DBQs are aligned to the Common Core, influenced by content standards, and written with AP courses in mind. Aligned to the Common Core In order to best serve students in all of their courses, we align our DBQ rubrics to the Common Core. This way, students are better prepared for the writing requirements of all classes as well as the demands of high-stakes testing. Influenced by Teacher's scope and sequence Teachers' scope and sequences have guided which topics are covered in our DBQs so that Thinking Nation can be efficiently integrated into what teachers are already doing. Aligned to AP Courses Both the content and skills of our DBQs are put together with AP courses in mind. More students are equipped for the rigors of Advanced Placement with an earlier introduction to the types of thinking and writing AP courses demand.

Slide Sample DBQs Get to know our DBQ structure: view and download a full-length DBQ. Our DBQs cover both the middle and high school levels, from ancient world history to modern civics. Each DBQ focuses on a particular thinking skill while still stressing the fundamental aspects of writing like thesis creation, maintaining purpose, and using textual evidence. Our DBQs can work great in the history classroom or can provide history-focused instruction when teaching writing in English classes. Continuity and Change over Time Comparison Contextualization Citizen Development 12th Grade only Causation Rubrics The rubrics are consistent for each DBQ with the exception of the Historical Thinking Skill category, which is 2-3 points of the 10 point total.

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12th Grade DBQs and Citizen Development

For our 12th grade DBQs in American Government and Politics, we've replaced the Historical Thinking Skills emphasis with Citizen Development. In these essays, high school seniors are expected to highlight two things to meet the standards of this section of the rubric. First, students should highlight the citizen's role in relation to the DBQ topic, like explaining why citizens should uphold the system of separation of powers. Second, students should make a clear connection between the DBQ topic and the present day. By focusing their writing in this way, we hope to better equip these young citizens for political participation, as many of them will be voting for the first time during their senior year.

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