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Code Documents_DBQ


How can you organize and summarize the information in your documents?
Find a way to categorize and organize documents. 

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.4
  • CCRA.R.6
  • CCRA.R.7
  • CCRA.W.2
  • CCRA.W.4
  • CCRA.W.5
  • CCRA.W.8

I Can Statements 

  • I can:
    • Categorize and organize documents to show the meaningful relationships among them, such as by connecting or comparing and contrasting
  • I will know categorization and organization of documents is of high quality when it:
    • Makes connections among and distinctions between the documents
    • Promotes questioning and curiosity to know more about the subject
    • Prompts critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their categorization and organization of the documents to gauge how well it meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 
Possible Activities 
  1. Provide students with information (photographs, quotes, or data tables) and ask them to group or sort them. For each group, ask students to name, label, or code the group. Share out between groups to notice whether the categorization was the same or different. Discuss the thinking behind the grouping and names assigned to the groups. 

  2. Provide students with multiple sources of categorized data and ask them to evaluate the categorization, and move or re-categorize information and discard irrelevant information. 

  3. Depending on the assignment, students can use specific codes given to them by the teacher, derived from the task, or develop their own coding system. For example, in social studies, students could code documents as (P) political, (S) social, or (E) economic information. 

  4. Students could be given a variety of documents and asked to categorize based on themes and justify that categorization with evidence from the documents.


Using Codes to Understand Text and Organize Information

Categorization as an Instructional Strategy

Downloadable Resources 
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