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The DBQ Project Method™

The DBQ Project 6-Step Method underpins the design of all our DBQs and Mini-Qs. Each step builds on students’ curiosity and increases motivation and confidence to answer a compelling, authentic question.

 

Step 1: The Hook Exercise

Engages students and orients them to the question.
 

Step 2: The Background Essay

Further orients students to the question and provides essential context that helps make sense of the documents.
 

Step 3: Understanding the Question and

Pre-bucketing

Helps students plan so they can target their investigation of the documents. Clarifying the question motivates students  to start reading their sources to find answers.
 

Step 4: Analyzing the Documents

It’s like you’re a detective!  The documents provide clues and evidence students need to support their thesis or claim. They provide the knowledge and information students need to answer the question.
 

Step 5: Bucketing

Helps students get organized. Buckets become containers for evidence that students use to categorize or group evidence from the documents.
 

Step 6A: The Thrash-Out and Preparing to Write

Students prepare to write by debating or “thrashing-out” their answer to the question. Students practice using evidence from the documents to support and verbally validate their claims. They use what they learn to outline their essays.

Step 6B: Writing the Essay

Students write multi-paragraph, evidence-based essays using their documents, buckets, and outlines to support and explain their reasoning.

The DBQ Project Method provides a framework of best practices that guides teachers and students to read smart, think straight, and write clearly.

How do you teach a DBQ?

It is much easier to assign a DBQ than to teach one. Using document-based questions as a method of instruction rather than just an exam is at the heart of DBQ’s philosophy.

To master high-level skills, students need high-level instruction.

The DBQ Project Library

“The DBQ training and materials are the best professional development for helping history teachers teach students to read, write, and think critically about historical questions.  Our TAH teachers are "on fire" and now they have spread the word to their world history colleagues.  It is great to see whole departments get behind this effort.  As Common Core Standards begin to be implemented the DBQ will be a great foundational piece.  Thank you to The DBQ Project for a relevant and needed program for history teachers.”

– Connie DeCapite, Director, FIRST, Fullerton Int. Resources for Schools and Teachers