DBQuest

DBQuest introduces students to major questions in civics and history. A Big Question acts as guiding light for deep examination of three selected primary resources. Each document challenges students to dig into the text itself and find the relevant information through document–based supporting questions.      

Whether you’re a social studies teacher looking for fun ways to support literacy skills or an ELA teacher interested in digital writing tools, DBQuest is for you! 

  • Address a guiding question as you analyze primary sources
  • Target evidence-based reading skills aligned with Common Core
  • Analyze a variety of texts, images, and videos

We’re here to help.

Not sure how to best implement our DBQuest into your classroom? iCivics offers downloadable comprehensive guides, tips, and tricks for each of our resource guides to help facilitate a seamless experience.


The Nashville Sit-Ins

What makes a movement successful? The people? The actions? The outcome? Students find out that answering this question is more involved than it may seem. Each of the three primary sources reveal a new perspective on the Nashville Sit-In Movement of 1960, and lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to work for change.

Students will hear from a local businessman, student activist, and view newspaper coverage of the event.


The Louisiana Purchase: Branching Out

President Jefferson usually gets the credit for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the young nation. But this ignores one important actor, the U.S. Congress. Nearly every step of the process involved the approval of, and funding from, the Legislative Branch. This DBQuest will walk you through primary sources that show the give and take between the two branches. 


America's Founding Preambles

Learn how the American idea of government evolved from a revolutionary response to monarchy to a unified nation. The sources will illustrate the effort taken to reach “a more perfect union” through a close read of our founding documents.


The Constitution's Cover Letter

In 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention decided that it was time for a change. A new plan for government was outlined in the Constitution, and it was George Washington's job to present this document to Congress. As with any important document, the Constitution was delivered with a letter of introduction. Part background, part persuasion, Washington's cover letter provides a behind-the-scenes look at how a new government came to be designed. 

Learn more about teaching with primary sources and using DBQuest.