Investigate World Geography & Write Interpretations

World Geography Investigations: Interpretation

Five World Geography investigations call for students to write interpretations of historical or social issues in e-mails to contemporary audiences. Interpretation tasks are the foundation for social studies argument writing centered on claims, evidence, and reasoning. The writing task in each World Geography investigation sets a purpose for the investigation, whether considering causation and narrative in the Mexico City investigation or thinking about change over time and perspective in the Middle East investigation. Each investigation creates a process for social studies inquiry and writing, makes connections to students’ lives, and extends their incoming knowledge. Check out the Writing Progression page to learn about the different styles of argument writing that are supported by RIW investigations.

What's in an investigation?

Each World Geography investigation is designed around a central question and includes a collection of modified primary and secondary sources which offer students a range of perspectives from which to draw on when constructing their response. Each investigation is structured by seven disciplinary literacy tools that facilitate student talk and discussion as they prepare to write a one-sided argument, or interpretation.

The following resources accompany each investigation: a PowerPoint to guide instruction; a student packet of materials; a detailed teacher guide; samples of student writing scored using our argument writing rubrics; a video overview of the investigation; a video of students’ thinking about the material; a video that models for students how to analyze sources using the Bookmark tool; audio files with us reading the sources aloud; and supports for bi- and multi-lingual learners in English, Arabic, and Spanish. All files can be freely downloaded and edited with proper attribution (they may not be sold or used for profit). Student materials include Microsoft Word and Google Doc versions.

One way to organize an investigation in the classroom

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