This activity is one I do at the start of the year that allows students to go step by step in creating an historical essay. Students follow each step in picking apart the prompt, creating a thesis, looking through sources for supporting details, analyzing source information, planning their introduction and conclusion, and finally writing their essay with all those components done.
NOT INCLUDED: The sources packet that students use to find supporting evidence. I utilize multiple source options including excerpts, pictures, artifacts, maps etc. Usually 10 sources allow students enough variety to answer the prompt.