What our Declaration of Independence lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Declaration of Independence identifies the meaning of the document and interprets different parts of it, including the preamble. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, the supplies you will need are scissors, glue, construction paper, highlighters, full copies of the Declaration of Independence or a way for students to access it, colored pencils, and the handouts. In order to prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can gather the supplies, and copy the handouts.
Options for Lesson
Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson.
The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
The Declaration of Independence
This lesson includes two content pages.
Summary of Abuses
The next part of this lesson focuses on the abuses that were included in the Declaration of Independence.
Here is a list of the vocabulary words students will learn in this lesson plan:
- Declaration of Independence: a document created in 1776, signed by representatives of the 13 colonies to declare their independence from Great Britain
- Independence: the ability of a people to govern themselves without interference
- Preamble: information about why a document is written
- Mercenaries: people hired by King George to fight against the colonists
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Declaration of Independence lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet. All of these worksheets test the students’ understanding of the lesson material.
PREAMBLE ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
For the activity worksheet, students are paired up and assigned one or two parts of the preamble to interpret. They need to interpret the meaning of the words as well as what they would have meant to the British colonists. Next, they write their interpretation down and then cut up the provided parts of the preamble and glue them on a separate piece of paper in the right order. Finally, they highlight the lines they interpreted and attach their interpretation of those lines to the paper.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet asks students to read ten statements from the Declaration of Independence and then describe, in their own words, what each statement means. Each of the statements is about King George. For example, they will have to explain what “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good” means in this context. Students are welcome to use a dictionary for help if they need it.
CROSSWORD HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
For the homework assignment, students will complete a crossword puzzle with words from the preamble to the Constitution. The clues are lines from the preamble with one word missing, which the student has to find and use to complete the puzzle.
Worksheet Answer Keys
This lesson plan includes answer keys for the homework assignment. No answer key is provided for the activity worksheet or practice worksheet because students’ answers will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.
RELATED LESSON PLANS
Take a look at these other lesson plans that relate to the Declaration of Independence and this time period in American history:
- America’s Founding Fathers —
- Mayflower Compact — This lesson introduces students to the document that many people view as the precursor to the Declaration of Independence. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.
- The Revolutionary War — With this lesson, students will learn about this war that was fought between the British and the Revolutionaries, who were fighting for their independence from Britain. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.