How to Use Document Based Question, DBQs, with Secondary Students

How to Use Document Based Question, DBQs, with Secondary Students during Distance Learning

How to Use Document Based Question, DBQs, with Secondary Students during Distance Learning 

What are DBQs

DBQ, Document Based Questions, are questions that are answered by using primary and secondary source documents.  Students must read and analyze literature, quotes, timelines, artifacts, photographs, and other documents to answer a series of questions.  These sources are also used to construct a well developed essay in which they will use the documents to support their answers.  It is vital for students to master this skill in order to be successful in multiple subjects and to have this 21st century skill.  Students will learn to cite text-based evidence when writing and answering questions.  DBQs can be printed or used in a digital distance learning format by using the Google Link online version.  

Key Terms for DBQs, Document Based Questions: 

Primary Sources: first-hand accounts from people who had direct connections with the topic or events
Secondary Sources: interpretations of historical events or phenomena using primary sources.  Examples include speeches.  
Text-Based Evidence: evidence to support your claim or opinion from a text.  
Google Classroom: Platform that many students access Google Slides, Google Docs, or Google Form activities in. 
PowerPoint: Microsoft platform that all google links can be converted to by downloading from Google Drive in a PowerPoint format.  

Why should I use Digital DBQs over a paper version? 

Well, if you are looking for an activity that requires ZERO printing, COLORFUL designs, CLEAR images, or ENGAGING questions, then Digital DBQs are for you.  You can assign the entire DBQ or you can assign one document analysis at a time and review it while in a Zoom, Teams, or Google Hangouts meeting.  The digital format also allows students to type their essays, which is becoming a common practice for most students.  You can even give digital feedback on their google slides document as they work.  

How do I ensure a smooth Digital Interactive experience? 

A few tips to make sure your Digital DBQ lessons run smoothly:
  • Make sure you read the teacher instructions thoroughly.  
  • Make sure you click on each link and make a copy in your google drive.  You can then download as a PowerPoint if you want to share via a Microsoft platform.  
  • Make sure you know how to share the link and have students use the link.  
  • Think about whether you want to allow students to complete the entire activity or walk them through each step of the DBQ.  There are always multiple sources to analyze. 
  • Think about whether you want to use this activity as a pre-unit review or post-unit review.    

Other Digital Learning Products Include Choice Boards, Timeline Relays, Guided Notes, and DBQs, just follow Learned Lessons. 

Thank you for your support! --Learned Lessons 






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