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Re-launch of Read.Inquire.Write. website features new resources for social studies argument writing

August 27, 2020

The Read.Inquire.Write. website, which offers curriculum materials for social studies teachers interested in teaching inquiry and argument writing through critical analysis of historical and social issues, re-launched on August 20. The site now features materials to support online learning and extensive materials to support bilingual and multilingual learners. Additionally, the site’s reorganization makes it easier to navigate for users seeking resources.


All materials continue to be offered free of charge through the support of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. 
Features of Read.Inquire.Write., Version 2.0: 

  • The home page highlights two key features of the social studies curriculum: (a) the disciplinary literacy tools that create a process to structure inquiry and argument writing, and (b) the three types of argument writing that create a progression for student writing that gets increasingly complex (interpretation, critique, counterargument).
  • Resources to support online teaching will be available for each investigation, including read alouds of sources, Google docs of student packets, and brief overview videos to preview each investigation. The site will continue to offer downloadable teacher guides, Powerpoints, student packets, writing rubrics, and samples of student writing for each investigation. 
  • One section of the site will focus on the disciplinary literacy tools, with descriptions, videos of the tools in use, teachers’ guides for using the tools, and examples of the tools. Recordings of webinars will be added as they are developed.  
    • Based on research in classrooms, the team has revised the Bookmark Tool and Weigh the Evidence Tool to better support student learning and participation. The team has also made minor revisions to the other tools so that all materials are aligned and consistent. These revised tools are embedded in each investigation and available as standalone resources.
  • Three sections of the site will share investigations, organized by social studies subject and type of argument writing:
    • All investigations that lead students to write a one-sided “interpretation” (entry-level tasks for learning argument writing) are focused on World Geography. 
    • All investigations that lead students to write a “critique” of someone else’s argument (mid-level tasks for learning argument writing) are focused on Ancient World History. 
    • All investigations that lead students to write a “counterargument” (most complex argument writing task) will still be focused on U.S. History.
    • The site will continue to host a page of “Archived Lessons.”
  • One section of the site will focus on Bilingual and Multilingual Learners, with explanations and guides for supporting all students’ full participation as well as accommodated teaching materials for English and Arabic-speaking contexts. Materials for Spanish contexts will be completed by December.
  • One section of the site will focus on Adapting Read.Inquire.Write. with resources for creating investigations, integrating RIW tools with existing sets of primary sources offered by partners, learning core teaching practices to support inquiry and argument writing, and examples of how one teacher establishes routines to support students’ full participation in inquiry.

Featured in this Article

Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Research Area Specialist
Administrative Specialist; Lecturer II in Teacher Education

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