Lesson Plan

DBQ Essay: Effects of Spanish Rule

Illustration of the Castillo along the east side wall with arched casemates under construction and water in background.
Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
4.L.1, 4.L.2, 4.L.3, 4.L.4, 4.RF.3, 4.RI.1, 4.RI.2, 4.RI.3, 4.RI.4, 4.RI.5, 4.RI.6, 4.RI.7, 4.RI.9, 4.RL.1, 4.W.2, 4.W.2.a, 4.W.2.b, 4.W.2.c, 4.W.2.d, 4.W.2.e, 4.W.4, 4.W.8, 4.W.9, 4.W.9.b
State Standards:
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts. Evaluating: Make informed judgements about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and views.

Essential Question

What were the effects of Spanish rule in Florida?


Students will interpret the meaning of documents and write an essay that demonstrates their understanding of the effects of Spanish colonial rule in Florida and their reading and writing skills.


  • For historical background on St. Augustine, explore Castillo's History and Culture.
  • For more on teaching the DBQ writing process, access the steps below. 


Prepare your students with background information on early Native American life and later European exploration of the Americas.


Use this teaching tool to break down the DBQ writing process into four steps.

Download Steps for DBQ

Interpret the meaning of documents and write an essay to demonstrate student understanding of the effects of Spanish colonial rule in Florida and reading and writing skills.

Download DBQ Essay

Answers to the document questions and an example essay.

Download Answer Key

Lesson Hook/Preview

Play a music video created by a teacher to inspire students to learn more about St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos: Where History Comes to Life


Assessment Materials

Students will demonstrate comprehension and skills by answering the document-based questions and writing a DBQ essay.

Supports for Struggling Learners

Work with your exceptional student education or special education teachers to modify the DBQ materials to fit the specific needs of your students with different abilities. 

Enrichment Activities

Explore the full virtual reality tour for Castillo de San Marcos National Monument that includes more functions to explore the whole park, watch ranger videos, and use 3D models.

Explore full virtual reality tour for Fort Matanzas National Monument. 

Related Lessons or Education Materials

Discover more education resources for your classroom.

Discover fun online activities for kids to experience with their families.

Contact Information

Email us about this lesson plan

Last updated: November 1, 2021