DBQ Project - Document Based Mini Lessons for 6th grade Social Studies

Moderation state
Grant Applicant
Nicole Sayegh
School Site
Grant Category
Grant Date

DBQ  Mini-Q lessons provide students with an opportunity to analyze informational text, to synthesize information from various sources, to identify and evaluate author point of view, and to support claims with evidence in writing. Students practice close reading of non-fiction texts, speaking and listening, and writing skills. 

These short units of study supplement our Social Studies curriculum and provide:

  • Units in both English and Spanish:
    • Content and design match, including translation of text documents, maps, charts, graphs, as well as instructional graphic organizers, outlines, and rubrics
  • Differentiated versions of each lesson to support all students 
  • Opportunities to engage with primary resources related to our course of study

The DBQ Mini-Qs in World History  - Volume 1 engage students with 11 Essential Questions related to the 6th Grade Social Studies Ancient Civilization Curriculum

  • Hammurabi’s Code: Was It Just?
  • How Did the Nile River Shape Ancient Egypt?
  • Citizenship in Athens and Rome: Which Was the Better System?
  • Education in Sparta: Did the Strengths Outweigh the Weaknesses?
  • The Great Wall of Ancient China: Did the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
  • How Great Was Alexander the Great?
  • Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler?
  • Why Did Christianity Take Hold in the Ancient World?
  • The Silk Road: Recording the Journey
  • What Were the Primary Reasons for the “Fall” of Rome?
  • The Maya: What Was Their Most Remarkable Accomplishment?
Benefits of Program

The Mini-Qs in World History  - Volume 1 addresses topics within the 6th Grade Social Studies Ancient Civilization Curriculum. As it is offered in both English and Spanish, all 6th graders at North Tahoe School would benefit from this resource. 


Success of Program

Students will be able to

  • analyze and evaluate the Essential Questions posed in the Mini Qs
  • learn to use textual evidence to support claims
  • demonstrate learning through written or spoken evidence-based arguments

The Essential Questions would be embedded into current units of study, and would amplify key topics within each civilization we study in 6th grade. Each Mini Q has about 1 week of lessons to support each unit.

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Absolutely, the goal of purchasing these resources in English and Spanish is to offer equity and rigor to both the Two Way Immersion and English Only programs on campus.

Yes, the Mini Qs resource binders will continue to support the Ancient Civilization curriculum, even through an eventual adoption of new curriculum. These resources are aligned not only to Common Core, but also to the C3 Framework and College Readiness Standards, as well as Habits of Mind, Literacy Strategies, Marzano Strategies, and Project Based Learning.
Amount Funded
Individual Budget Items(s)
$400 - Mini-Qs in World History – Volume 1 Spanish Version Teacher Resource Binder
$400 - Mini-Qs in World History – Volume 1 Teacher Resource Binder
Other funding sources



Currently, our adopted materials in English and our textbooks in Spanish are not the same, making content area planning with my partner difficult. Additionally, there is a lack of support materials for teaching in Spanish (videos, graphs, charts, online support materials). These resources help to build equity in access to quality instruction for all students, and create opportunities to collaborate with my content partner