Warning. This is a PTA Purchase.
These little bad boys are a ready-to-rock lesson plan, complete with student debate, pre-selected readings, and a written response. And about a billion teacher support documents on how to teach DBQs.
Our district is all about writing these days (which they should be... cuz the kids can't write.) and this is how we are accomplishing these goals.
I tend to dip into one of these a quarter, as they fit with my curriculum. They are a time sucker, but you get what you put into it.
You do have to teach the kids how to sort documents (they cutely call it "bucketing"), how to write a strong thesis (aka the chicken foot), and even how to debate. Some great ideas that I picked up from the DBQ gurus when they came out to visit FCPS include handing out poker chips to kids, requiring them to cash them in for each point they audibilize. (Thus keeping the conversation monopolizers in check) Another great idea is requiring the kids to reference a document for each point that they make, because they have to do it when they write, too.
Anyways, it is a great resource; well worth the cost to your SCHOOL.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan