WVWrites Social Studies Prompts


 As you have noticed the WVWRITES social studies prompts keep vanishing off of the WVWRITES website, so I thought I would just post some of them here as a resource for you to use with your students.  Hopefully we will soon get these to stay on the WVWRITES site in the near future, but hopefully this will help in the short term.  I will be adding more to this list soon!


What are some things American communities do to celebrate patriotic holidays?

Why are some holidays considered “more patriotic” than others?

Imagine that something is happening in our county that impact things like our school. police protection, fire service, our library, or perhaps the name of the street where you live.  Using these scenarios explain (who, what, where and why) you would contact in government to try to make a difference.

The three branches of our federal government does not allow one branch to have total power by sharing power between branches.  How does our checks and balances system work in West Virginia government?

How does a bill become a law in West Virginia?

What is the difference in a “primary” and a “general” election in West Virginia? 

 What are things that West Virginia produces that we sell to other states and nations?  If any of these things are done locally describe them and tell what it takes to make that business succeed.

 Why do some West Virginia counties do well economically while others have few jobs and small populations?

West Virginia is heavily influenced by its rivers and mountains.  Why are many of our larger communities located on our three major rivers?

What sections of the state depend the most on tourism, and how do we attract visitors to vacation here?

When West Virginia became a state why were our “founding fathers” all from northern West Virginia?

What brought many immigrants to West Virginia at the start of the 20th Century?  Where did they settle and how did it impact sections of the state?


How and why did European nations choose different ways (routes, strategies, colonization, etc) in the Post-Renaissance era to trade with Asia?

During the Renaissance how did science lead people to question the Church?

What was the cultural and social impact of European colonization upon Africa?

Why was it so easy for England and France to colonize Africa, and how did they deal with those they conquered?

How did China’s isolationist policies lead to different writing, language, government, and culture?

Which Enlightenment concepts had the greatest impact on American government?

Why and how did the emphasis on “the individual” lead to a split into the Renaissance church?

What modern laws and beliefs exist due to Christians and Jews dominating society?

In the Middle Ages why did people follow dictates of monarchs without question or opposition?

Why are the Pacific Rim nations so successful in industry today?

What aspects of our modern government and culture are based upon influences from Greek and Roman government and culture? 
How did leaving a nomadic life and settling in the Fertile Crescent create a cultural need for laws, religion, and writing?


How did the Northern and Southern plans to win the Civil War differ and what was the result?

What were the different approaches in settlement of the New England, Middle and Southern colonies? How did this influence their cultural development?

How did Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation make the war a moral issue for the north?

Why did so many Europeans choose to come to America at the turn of the 20th century in the face of difficulties of language, social differences, and prejudices?

How did vast raw materials combine with new technologies to move the American economy to the world stage?

How did the diverse North American environment influence native American cultures?

How did Lincoln’s death allow his political rivals to change reconstruction to a punishment for ex-confederates and what was the result?

In the Revolutionary War how did George Washington’s tactics of guerrilla warfare frustrate British warfare and lead to success?

 How did the English view Parliamentary Taxation Acts, and how did this lead to colonial resistance?

How did Spanish Colonization differ from English colonization of the Americas, and what evidence can we see today of these different influences in the USA?


How did the growing importance of the automobile, the radio, movies and new industries improve the standard of living and change our culture?

What was the long term effect of FDR’s policies and philosophies of dealing with the Great Depression?

What impact did the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson have on American society?

How has America responded to new challenges (Global Warming, Terrorism, Energy, Mid-East stability, Health issues, Economics, etc) facing the nation in the 21st Century?

How would you contrast/compare the culture of the 1950s with today?

How would you contrast/compare the culture of the 1950s with today?

How did Teddy Roosevelt’s policies expand American influence worldwide?

 The Treaty of Versailles officially ended WW I, but what problems did it cause between European nations that would lead to future conflict? 

How did the United States of America and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics influence the shaping of the post war world?

 How was the war in the Pacific different from that in Europe?

 Why did most of the early fighting of World War II take place in Europe?



Identify major conflicts in the global community and relate this to contemporary issues in the United States of America.

 What are the rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Bill of Rights and how do we use them daily?

 Why would a local government pursue a company to locate within its tax base instead of outside of town or elsewhere? 

 How do personal savings, spending, and investing affect the economy as a whole?

What are the extremes of political ideology, and how does this relate to the major political parties in America?

What national problems following the Revolutionary War forced the newly formed American nation to write a new Constitution?

How do special interest groups influence public policy and our laws?

What differentiates “biased reporting” and “yellow journalism” from a legitimate free and independent press?