Washington state developed assessments for social studies K-12. These resources give a general rubric and structure to be used to assess social studies skills and content. Teachers choose their own specific topics and formats, and the rubric provides uniformity in scoring structure.
Scroll down to the table and look at the models that are provided for each subject area and grade level.
Beyond the Bubble features new kinds of history assessments that allow teachers to gauge whether students have mastered key historical thinking skills. These innovative assessments, called History Assessments of Thinking (HATs), prompt students to answer questions about historical sources and to justify their reasoning in two or three sentences.
Most HATs can be completed in ten minutes, some in less than five. HATs allow teachers to get a quick sense of what students do and don’t know. Teachers can use this information to adjust instruction to meet the needs of their students.
DBQ's are Document Based Questions that are used in certain Advanced Placement classes as well as in a number of state assessments. Because DBQ's make students write essays using a number of primary source documents, DBQ's require our students to think, analyze, and use and refine their literacy strategies. For this reason, in my experience as a middle school social studies teacher, the use of DBQ's are not just for higher level students only but are important for all students.
One strategy for engaging middle school students is to help them identify with a person who lived in the past -- someone who affected the course of events and/or was affected by them. Research assignments through which students assume the identity of historical individuals can help middle school students surpass their age-appropriate egocentricity, while allowing them to have "big egos" as someone of historical importance.