History/Social Studies Department. Document Based Analysis (DBA) Overview and Sample

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1 Document Based Analysis (DBA) Overview and Sample Introduction and Assessments in Context The district assessments for the History/Social Studies Department in grades 6-11 are a product of ongoing consultation with teacher leaders across the district. They also are a result of partnered work with a key district consultant who was closely involved with the writing of the literacy standards for the Common Core and is currently advising the PARCC consortium on its assessment, due for implementation the school year. They are designed to strike the proper balance for teachers and students alike regarding the need for substantive content instruction combined with targeting the close reading skills, and argumentative writing, identified in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The paced interim assessments are in two distinct formats: a paced interim assessment that concentrates on close reading (a sample of which is found below), and a paced interim assessment that focuses on document-based analysis (DBA), a sample of which will be shared prior to the DBA paced interims in December. In addition, there are end- of- course assessments that combine aspects of both assessment formats, as well as content- based multiple choice questions. All three assessments formats are intended to provide teachers and their students clear cues regarding the continuing priority given to content learning through the close reading and argumentative writing lenses offered by the CCSS. In addition, these assessments model the kinds of questions that will be found on the PARCC assessment beginning in the academic year. The questions are explicitly linked to a close reading standard or Reading Like a Historian question for the particular grade level in question, and the text selection meets the quantitative complexity criteria set out by the CCSS for that grade level as well. Structure and Delivery of the Paced Interim on Document Based Analysis (DBA) The DBA assessment consists of a series of primary source documents presented with minimal background commentary. Distinct from the close reading assessment is the importance of a student s familiarity and study of the historical context of the documents. This is particularly true for the writing prompt. Topic selection has been carefully vetted to assure that it falls within the overall parameters and timing of the curriculum framework for each grade. Version 2 1

2 Then 8 multiple choice questions are posed, based on the CCSS expectations around close reading as well as the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) framework on Reading Like a Historian. The questions based on the Reading Like a Historian framework, span the different categories of Sourcing, Close Reading, Contextualization, and Corroboration. Finally, the assessment concludes with an on- demand argumentative writing prompt that focuses on the ability of students to identify or craft a claim, select evidence, and offer an explanation and reasons for why the evidence supports the claim. Details regarding grade- level specifics for the Document Based Assessment can be found in the chart below: Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grades 9-11 Text Number Text Types Number of Questions Writing task Choose two strongest claims from the four (4) provided choices. 2-3 text- based, 1-2 visual Choose the two strongest claims from the six (6) provided choices. Then match provided evidence to the selected claims. 4 documents 3 text- based, 1 visual 8 Questions Choose the strongest claim from provided six (6) choices. 3 text- based, 1 visual Write an original claim. Then locate supporting evidence for the claim. Finally offer original writing that connects evidence to the claim. The Department district assessments will be housed and administered through the computer- based platform ATI- Galileo. For the middle school grades, the Office of Data and Accountability will determine if paper administration of assessments will continue this year (though middle schools will have the option of also administering the assessment through ATI- Galileo). The Office of Instructional Technology continues to strive to ensure that all schools are equipped to take these online assessments, particularly as the PARCC assessments will also be administered through a computer Version 2 2

3 Document Based Analysis (DBA) Paced Interims Assessment Dates Middle School District Assessments: Paced Interim on Document Based Analysis: December End of Year Assessment: June 2-5 High School District Assessments: Paced Interim on Document Based Analysis: December 9-13 End of Year Assessment: May 27- June 19 (Note: At this time, there are no district assessments for elementary social studies grades.) Version 2 3

4 Sample of Document Based Analysis (DBA) Assessment Questions and Writing Task 1 Document A: Prime Minister Winston Churchill Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat Speech, May 13, [... ] I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs Victory in spite of all terrors Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages... I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength. Document B: Prime Minister Winston Churchill We Shall Fight on the Beaches Speech, June 4, if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny... That is the resolve of His Majesty s Government... That is the will of Parliament and the nation We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. 1 Only four sample questions (that focus on just two of the texts) are offered here, but a full complement of eight questions (two of each variety noted above) covering all four texts will appear on the assessments. 2 The text meets the quantitative text complexity demands specified in the CCSS for 9 th grade with a Lexile score of The text meets the quantitative text complexity demands specified in the CCSS for 9 th grade with a Lexile score of Version 2 4

5 Document C: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain Speech on the Munich Agreement, September 30, The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you:... We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo- German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again. My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep. Document D: Our New Defense, Cartoon regarding Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain s Munich Agreement with Hitler, October 3, The text meets the quantitative text complexity demands specified in the CCSS for 9 th grade with a Lexile score of Version 2 5

6 Part I: Multiple Choice Questions 1. (Close Reading) Select the claim that can be supported by the most relevant and sufficient evidence in Document A. a. Because of the fight ahead, Churchill is pessimistic regarding the outcome of the conflict. b. Because of his aims, Churchill expects that the British Empire will not survive. c. Because of his policies, Churchill believes that the British military will emerge eventually triumphant. d. Because of his ambivalence, Churchill calls on his audience to unite behind his leadership. 2. (Contextualization) Looking at Document B, a reader could infer that the most likely reason this speech was significant was because: a. The speech lent British support to recognizing the Vichy government in France. b. The speech indicated that the British would fight on regardless of actions of its allies. c. The speech alluded to the necessity of accepting the cash- and- carry offer by President Roosevelt. d. The speech implied that only when the United States entered the war would the British emerge victorious. 3. (Sourcing) Looking at Document A, what was most likely Churchill s purpose in making this speech? a. His purpose was to motivate his audience to join together and defeat the enemy despite the costs. b. His purpose was to persuade the United States to enter the war and join forces with the British. c. His purpose was to explain the reasons why the British were fighting a war against Germany. d. His purpose was to assure Britain s allies that he was up to the task of leading the war effort. 4. (Corroboration) What main conclusion can be drawn from comparing Documents A and B? a. Churchill s speeches were designed to convince ambivalent ministers to declare war on Germany. b. Churchill believed that the conflict could only be won by pursuing a policy of total war. c. Britain was unprepared for the rigors of war at the time the speeches were given. d. The allies agreed with Churchill s war aims but questioned his military strategy. Version 2 6

7 Part II. Document Based Analysis (DBA) Assessment Prompt 5 7 th Grade Version Prompt: As a leader, how was Churchill different from Chamberlain? Question 1. Out of the six options below, there are two claims that are stronger than the others. Based on your analysis of Documents A- D, identify and circle the strongest two claims on your Open Response Sheet. Options: A. Churchill was different because he used words that struck a more pacifying tone. B. Churchill was different because he wanted the United States to stay neutral. C. Churchill was different because he was a more forceful and dramatic speaker. D. Churchill was different because he waited before criticizing Britain s allies. E. Churchill was different because he did would not compromise with Hitler. F. Churchill was different because he knew the British Empire was falling apart. Question 2. For each correct claim from the question above, you will find two pieces of evidence that strongly support them in the options below. On your Open Response Sheet, match the correct evidence to the correct claims by writing the appropriate letters next to four pieces of evidence. Options: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. That is the resolve of His Majesty s Government... That is the will of Parliament and the nation The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep. 5 Although the text samples align with the 9 th grade curriculum, the writing task presented below includes both 9 th grade and 7 th grade versions of the assessment to illustrate the full range of the writing expectations across grades (see the chart above for a clear sense of the specific writing task demands for a given grade). Version 2 7

8 Question 3. Choose one of the strong claims that you identified. In a short paragraph, provide your reasoning how the evidence you chose connects to that claim on the Open Response Sheet. You should also support your reasoning by including your background knowledge of Europe on the eve of World War II. 9 th Grade Version Prompt: How is the style and substance of Churchill s leadership different from that of Chamberlain? In your answer address both the tone and approach both Prime Ministers took when discussing Britain s relationship with Nazi Germany. The following question is based on the accompanying documents and your knowledge of history. The prompt is designed to test your ability to apply several historical thinking skills simultaneously, including historical argumentation, use of relevant historical evidence, contextualization and synthesis. Your response should be based on your analysis of the documents and your knowledge of the topic. Create a well- integrated essay that does the following: 1. States an appropriate claim that directly addresses all parts of the question. 2. Supports the claim or an appropriate argument with evidence from all or all but one of the documents AND your knowledge of history. Version 2 8

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