• One of the most challenging parts of the Advanced Placement US History Exam is the Document Based Question.
• In my experience, students struggle with organizing their thoughts, including outside Specific Factual Information, and also including paragraphs on Contextualization and Synthesis.
• To help students practice this process, I created a DBQ Essay scaffold. The scaffold is a graphic organizer that students use to pre-write for their DBQ. What I find most useful about this scaffold is that it can be used two or three times a month whereas writing essays that often is often exhausting for students. The scaffold requires students to examine documents, generate specific factual information (outside facts) that relate to the document (cause, effect, etc), create a three-part thesis, and outline contextualization and synthesis paragraphs. Because it can be used more often than essay writing, students are able to review more possible DBQ topics in preparation for the APUSH exam.
A printable scaffold template
A explanation template to help students understand the process
5 example scaffolds with a link to the Document Based Questions with documents.
Thanks for your interest.