One driving force for us is social studies is to genuinely incorporate Document Based Questions (DBQ’s) into our lesson flow.  With the new evaluation system now in place when we use DBQs it will punctuate and drive learning as well as being a great tool for us to  provide evidence of the great things you are doing with your learners.   Resources can be found at https://wvsocialstudies.com/dbq/

DBQ Resource page

Document Based Questions

WVDE Social Studies Development:

The Social Studies portion of WESTEST 2 includes 45 items per grade level.  Each test is comprised of 45 multiple-choice items, including               one Document Based Question (DBQ).  The DBQ consists of 4 to 8 documents with 6 to 8 accompanying multiple-choice items designed                 to scaffold knowledge and skill levels.  Each of the tests includes at least 2 graphic organizers to assist student thinking.  Approximately 900      items were written and reviewed for the final form selection of WESTEST 2.  Items were written using the specific                                                   Social Studies Item Writing Checklist.


Document-Based Questions – DBQ

Introduction – What are DBQ’s?

Course I

Historical Records: what, why, where and how.
A brief course on using historical records in the classroom.

Course II


  • Understand how document-based questions assess standards and performance indicators in the Learning Standards for Social Studies.
  • Gain knowledge of strategies for preparing students to write strong responses to DBQs.
  • Investigate processes and procedures for creating effective DBQ assessments.
  • Understand processes and procedures for rating DBQ essays.