Social Studies Level Up
Preparing for Ohio's State Tests Weekly Bulletin
Preparing for Ohio's State Tests: Week 4
This is the fourth of seven weekly newsletters dedicated to helping teachers prepare students for Ohio's State Tests in American History and American Government. Each newsletter will feature one of seven identified best practices in teaching for mastery, and highlight some of the available resources.
Note: The practices outlined in this newsletter series are designed to increase standards mastery. They are useful in all courses, not just state-tested courses. While some direct test practice is necessary, the primary emphasis should be unpacking standards in meaningful and rigorous ways. Check out the article, "Beware the Test Prep Trap" by Jay McTighe for more information.
Social Studies Level Up Goals
- Increase passage rates on Ohio's State Test in American History from 50% to 65%.
- increase passage rates on Ohio's State Test in American Government from 59% to 70%.
Best Practice 4: Source Analysis
Key Points of Source Analysis
- Source analysis involves close reading, interpreting, and evaluating primary and secondary sources in history and government.
- The use of primary and secondary sources of includes an examination of the credibility of each source.
- Historians develop theses and use evidence from sources to support or refute positions.
- Use short excerpts from sources to create Evidence-Based Sets (similar to DBQs). Have students respond to text-dependent questions, identify or create thesis statements from the texts, and cite supporting evidence.
Social Studies Teaching & Learning Strategies Page
Each entry includes a short description with a link to a full description and/or resource materials.
Anchor Charts/Reference Sheets for Source Analysis and Evidence-Based Writing
- Reasons to Question the Credibility of a Source
- Avoiding Logical Fallacies in History & Social Sciences
Evidence-Based Sets in Edulastic
In addition to the sets available in the released test items, sample Evidence-Based Sets are available in Edulastic.
Accessing Primary Source Banks to Create Evidence-Based Sets
Teachers can use and adapt sources from available collections to create their own Evidence-Based Sets and DBQs. The following websites have extensive collections of sources organized by era/topic:
- Teaching American History Documents Library - http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library
- Digital History - http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu
- Library of Congress - https://www.loc.gov/collections
- National Archives - https://www.docsteach.org/documents
- Digital Public Library of America - https://dp.la/primary-source-sets
DocsTeach Historical Thinking Activities
CCS Social Studies has created primary source interactive exercises using the DocsTeach tool from the National Archives. These exercises provide students with an opportunity to examine primary sources (documents, photographs, political cartoons) and construct an evidence-based arguments on compelling questions.
Quick Activities are best suited for class warm-ups, exit tickets, or station rotation. They can be completed in about 10-15 minutes. Extended Exercises are designed for a full class period with 1:1 chromebooks or in a computer lab, or as homework extensions.
- What Does the Constitution Say about Sovereignty?
- Should the United States Establish an Empire?
- Why was the League of Nations Ineffective?
- How did the New Deal Address the Problems of the Great Depression?
- How did Postwar Prosperity Change American Society?
- How did the 1965 Immigration Act Change the U.S.?
- How did the U.S. Justify Military Intervention in Iraq?
- Was Industrialization Good for America?
- What Reforms Did Progressive Want?
- Why did African Americans Move North?
- How did the U.S. Become a World Power around the Turn of the 20th Century?
- Was Prohibition Good for America?
- How did Americans on the Home Front Support the War Effort?
- How did the Cold War Impact American Foreign and Domestic Policies?
- How did the New Frontier and Great Society Expand the Role of the Federal Government?
- What Strategies were used to Achieve Equality and Civil Rights?
DocsTeach also includes an extensive database of additional activities that may be useful in meeting Ohio's Learning Standards. And, if you are really ambitious, you can create your own activities and send us the link!
Beyond the Bubble: History Assessments of Thinking (HATS)
Assessments emphasize the historical thinking skills of:
Use of Evidence; and