The Road to Independence

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.

  • Resource Type: ESL Appropriate, ESL Materials, Quizzes, Translated Materials, Video
  • Subject: History
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Meaning of Independence Day

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.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Independence Day Collection

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 colonies of America announced their break from the British Empire and their intention to form a new nation: the United States of America. Use this collection to find free lesson plans, activities and materials to help you celebrate the Fourth of July with your students.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade 9-10 What was Most “Revolutionary” About the Declaration of Independence?

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.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10

Grade 6 “When in the Course of Human Events:” Introducing the Declaration of Independence

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.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 6

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Lesson on the Declaration of Independence

With this teacher-created lesson plan, students will be able to: understand the meaning and central ideas of the Declaration of Independence; cite textual evidence to analyze this primary source; and analyze the structure of the document. Common Core-aligned.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 11, 12

Founding Documents: The Meaning of the Declaration of Independence.

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.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Fourth of July: Grades 3-5

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Fourth of July show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they encourage students to explore the history and meaning of the Declaration of Independence and Independence Day.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5