UMBCCenter for History Education


Assessment Resource Center for History

Performance Assessment Task (PAT) Template

PAT Title
(usually describes the key content of the task in an interesting way; can be a variation of the task question)
Historical Thinking Skill(s) Assessed (Sourcing, Critical Reading, Contextualizing, Corrorborating)
The historical thinking skills are adapted from the Stanford History Education Group (Reading Like a Historian curriculum), the work of Bruce VanSledright, and the UMBC Center for History Education’s History Labs model.
Grade Level or Course
Task Question
This question guides the direction of the task. The students should be able to answer the task question upon completion of the task; therefore, it may also be used as a summative assessment for the task.
Learning Outcome(s)
Learning outcomes are what students are expected to be able to do upon completion of the task.
Curriculum Alignment
This activity will be completed during the unit __________________.
Standards Alignment (optional)
Common Core Standards: The ARCH PAT assesses ELA and disciplinary literacy skills (reading and writing) that are embedded in the Common Core State Standards.
National History Standards (National Center for History in the Schools - UCLA)
Era and Standard
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies Standards
Dimension(s) and Subsection(s), as relevant, for grade level band.
List all materials. Provide citations for source documents and other materials, as appropriate. The number of sources depends on the historical thinking skill(s) being assessed. One to four sources are preferable for a performance task.
Background for the Teacher
Short (1-2 paragraph) description of the historical background needed for the task; can be adapted for students.


Context Setting

This is an activity to introduce the task question and motivate students, while setting the context for the task. In setting the context, the teacher may choose to model the historical thinking process with a source document.

Document Analysis

For each document, provide a short list of guiding questions and identify the historical thinking skill(s) that are targeted with each question. A graphic organizer can help students categorize and document sources. For tasks to be used early in the year or course, it is better to concentrate on just one or two historical thinking skills.
Note: This first part of all tasks should consist of the sourcing of evidence (individually or in small groups).

Corroborating Evidence and Constructing Interpretations — Close Analysis

This should consist of a bulleted list of recommended steps to help students compare multiple sources of evidence in order to construct evidence-based interpretations.

Thoughtful Application

In this part of the activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of the key ideas in this investigation by applying their knowledge. Activities should be varied. Include the relevant section(s) of the ARCH Historical Thinking Skills Rubric (elementary or secondary), as appropriate.

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ARCH: Assessment Center for History was developed through a partnership between the UMBC Center for History Education (CHE) and the Howard County Public School System, with support from the United States Department of Education's Teaching American History grant program. ARCH materials may be used in educational settings, following fair-use guidelines.

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