This lesson will use a close reading of the Declaration of Independence to explore the American colonists’ reasons for separating from Great Britain. By the conclusion of the lesson, student will understand the role of the Declaration in encouraging support for American Independence, and in laying the groundwork for a new system of government and individual rights.
This lesson will use a close reading of the Declaration of Independence to explore the American colonists’ reasons for separating from Great Britain. By the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify the specific arguments made for Independence. Students will assess the objectives of the Declaration and identify if and how the drafters may have fallen short of some of their stated goals.
On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence. It named a committee to do the writing. One of its members was Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer from Virginia. He had been a leader in Virginia, and Virginia had elected him to the Continental Congress. The others on the committee were too busy with the revolution to work on the declaration, so Jefferson wrote it alone.
On July 4 each year, the United States celebrates Independence Day. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in which citizens of the thirteen American colonies announced their break from the British Empire and their intention to form a new nation: the United States of America. This Share My Lesson collection provides educators with free preK-12 lesson plans, activities, and materials to use to teach their students about Independence Day.
The major ideas in the Declaration of Independence, their origins, the Americans’ key grievances against the King and Parliament, their assertion of sovereignty, and the Declaration’s process of revision. This lesson will focus on the views of Americans as expressed in primary documents from their own time and in their own words.
This resource provides students with an English language video and associated student friendly readings (in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole), as well as reading and video guides and self assessment tools. Using these, students will explore the road to independence and key events along the path to the Declaration of Independence!
Free registration is required to use the resource.
What is the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and its self-evident truths of equal and unalienable rights? Our ebook, “The Meaning of Independence Day,” explores the ideas behind the American Founding and their significance for our present personal freedoms and national flourishing. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. Includes readings by Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and more.