Teaching Social Studies Inquiry and

Argument Writing with Sources


A Process that Structures Inquiry and Argument Writing Through a Set of Disciplinary Literacy Tools.

A Progression in Types of Argument Writing Across Investigations of History/Social Science Content.

Read.Inquire.Write. recognizes that students bring important voices and agency to their learning and can contribute to the development of knowledge about the past and about current social issues. Drawing on their own rich and diverse perspectives, students engage with sources that disrupt fixed narratives of steady progress and reveal histories, structures, and practices that help them situate themselves with greater understanding in relation to the events and structures that have shaped the world they live in. This is in contrast to social studies classrooms where textbooks and teachers are the only sources of knowledge, where histories of violence and oppression are silenced, where Whiteness is obscured, and where students have little opportunity to connect their lives to the past or develop literacies useful in the present.

Read.Inquire.Write. supports middle school students’ full participation in inquiry and argument writing in social studies across 6th through 8th grades, enabling them to develop disciplinary literacy along with disciplinary knowledge. It includes multiple supports for English learners—newcomers as well as more proficient bi/multilingual learners—and students who have experienced less success in school.

If you look at kids who are below grade level in reading, they can all do the writing; they know how to do it and they are confident.
Kimberly Harn, Middle School Teacher, Ann Arbor, MI

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Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.
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