Four of the twelve investigations prepare students to write interpretations of historical or social issues in e-mails to contemporary audiences. The writing task sets a purpose for each investigation, whether trying to understand the perspective of people in the past in the Hammurabi investigation or considering causation and narrative in the Mexico City investigation. Each investigation creates a process for social studies inquiry and writing across five days that begins with making connections to students' lives and extending their incoming knowledge.

Each day of a Read.Inquire.Write. investigation supports reading, reasoning, and writing in ways that research has shown to develop students' social studies thinking and literacy by:

  • introducing a central or compelling question, making connections to students, and extending background knowledge;
  • engaging students in reading and analysis of primary sources through explicit instruction and discussion as students weigh evidence and draw conclusions;
  • providing explicit support for the particular kind of argument writing called for in the investigation, engaging students in planning, composing, reflection, and revision.

These investigations include a student packet, slides to guide instruction, and a teacher guide to support classroom-based inquiry.

View Investigations focused on interpretation:

Introduction investigation (2-3 days): How do historians interpret historical artifacts? 

1. What was important to King Hammurabi?

2. Which countries should be included in the Middle East?

3. How did the Inca maintain control over such a large empire?

4. Why is access to water unequal in and around Mexico City?

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Investigations 1