Monday, May 5, 2014

Creating Quality Source Sets and DBQs

I was just looking at a source set that I put together for my World War I unit. Though I’ve made a lot of progress this year finding and copying various primary and secondary sources, I still need to refine my source sets. They often do not connect very well. Superficially, the sources appear to be connected. On a deeper level, though, this is often not the case. Or, if there are connections, in many instances, I have not explicitly made them yet.  

The same kind of thinking that goes into constructing a thoughtful document based question (DBQ) needs to go into putting together a source set.

I need to think more deeply about what big questions and themes I want students to think about when I am constructing a source set. Just looking for sources and photocopying them together does not make a real source set.

What tips do you have about constructing source sets and document based questions? Are there any readings you can suggest that discuss the design of source sets and document based questions?

I know that looking at examples is always a great way to learn, and I have spent a decent amount of time looking at SHEG Stanford’s materials. Do you have links to source sets or DBQs that, in your judgment, illustrate excellent design?

Having looked at numerous SHEG Stanford lessons, what are some of the design principles that stand out?

-These lessons revolve around an open ended question that requires an answer that is supported with evidence derived from sources that are introduced in the lesson.

-The sources included in the lesson present various points of view.

-The sources are often fairly concise and have been adapted to facilitate student reading and comprehension.

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