Students in Myron Varn’s eighth grade American History class at Allapattah Flats (APF) K8 School have finished writing their first document based question (DBQ). Students read and analyzed five different primary source documents to determine the cause of death for almost 80 percent of the first colony’s settlers. They have proven in their thesis that poor water caused disease, poor relations with Powhatan caused violent death, and lack of appropriate skills led to starvation and sickness. This lesson helped the students understand population decline during the time period. When using the DBQ, students are able to brainstorm and come up with ideas for writing. The students will be able to use what they have learned to help them prepare for APF Writes and FCAT.