Document Based Questions (DBQs) are a great way to help students hone their analytical skills. They allow the student to prove his/her understanding of the documents and use them to prove a thesis in response to a prompt. As a Social Studies teacher, developing critical thinking and problem solving skills in students is one my chief goals. We want our students to be independent thinking citizens, right?
What follows is a short DBQ that uses information and opinions to prove the superiority of droids from the Star Wars series of movies. This DBQ is designed for beginners. It uses eight short and simple documents to engage the students so they will be more apt to learn how to respond to the more formal DBQ prompts in your classroom and on standardized tests. Once students feel comfortable with the DBQ process, they will be ready for more sophisticated DBQs. You can use the DBQs any way you want. You can use it as a formative assessment to gage student understanding as you go. You can also use it as a summative assessment at the end of the unit. Please note that this DBQ extended response format is similar to that used by the New York Regents in the past.
Here is what you get in this packet:
• Star Wars DBQ (compare BB-8 to R2D2)
• Star Wars DBQ Scoring Guidelines (similar format to New York Regents)
• How to Respond to a DBQ (step by step guide for students)
• How to Respond to a DBQ Template (a form to help students organize their response)
• Star Wars DBQ Template Filled Out (a template filled out for the Sports DBQ)
• Sample Response to the Star Wars DBQ Using the DBQ Template