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Use Castle Learning to Build Enduring Issue Essay Skills for the Revised NYS Regents Exam in Global History & Geography

October 29, 2018

/ by

Julie Sandorfi


Use Castle Learning to Build Enduring Issue Essay Skills for the Revised NYS Regents Exam in Global History & Geography

We have great news for New York Social Studies teachers who are preparing students for the revised Global History & Geography Regents exam, as well as teachers in other states who are building critical thinking skills for the 21st century!

The Castle Learning Social Studies team has spent the past year creating new content to help prepare both students and teachers for the major changes coming with the revised exam. This article focuses on the skills needed to tackle the Enduring Issue Essay.

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Enduring Issue Essay Questions

One of the greatest challenges presented by this new essay format is the identification of an Enduring Issue from a five-document set. It marks a dramatic change from the previous Thematic Essay and Document Based Question Essay formats, in which students were always given the theme or topic. To help you assist your students, we present two ways to practice this critical skill on Castle Learning.

First, we have located 300+ existing multiple-choice questions from our database that help students identify an Enduring Issue. These questions have been flagged with a new Tag, Key Themes & Concepts Over Time, to allow for simple searching based on Topic, Standard, and/or Tag, depending on teacher need. In addition, these questions have been placed into Public Assignments organized by standard for both 9th and 10th grades so that teachers can introduce the concept of Enduring Issues even in the first year of the Global course.

Second, we are creating a step-by-step process to guide students and teachers through the skills development necessary to help students practice identifying an Enduring Issue presented in a set of documents. We started with differentiated multiple-choice questions in which students must identify an Enduring Issue from a list of ideas (Step 1) to single-document analysis (Step 2) to multiple-document synthesis (Steps 3 and 4).  So far, we have developed 85 new multiple-choice questions which are available as public assignments. We believe that questions in a multiple-choice format provide an efficient mechanism for student practice and teacher evaluation. We will continue to develop this process, culminating in a model set of five documents.

In addition, the final step will guide students through the full writing process. We plan to provide examples that offer instruction on the construction of an introduction paragraph; offer an organizational structure for the full essay that will competently meet the required tasks; and provide a full essay that highlights a competent fulfillment of the tasks included in the rubric. Stay tuned for more development on this step!


Locating Enduring Issue Question Sets

Teachers can choose individual questions from these assignments by creating a new assignment and using the Public Assignments tab. Scroll through the assignments to find the NYS standard you’re looking for.  Be sure to choose the correct course name as shown below:

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Teachers can also grab the full Public Assignment in the course: Social Studies –>Global History and Geography –> Castle Assignments –> New York as shown below:



Click on the checkbox and then the “Import” button.  The assignment will now appear on your Global History and Geography assignment list!

We welcome any and all suggestions from teachers as we adapt to the changing exams. Feel free to contact us with ideas that will help you save time while preparing your students for success!


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