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Activity Overview

The Declaration of Independence is, in essence, a break-up letter from the thirteen colonies to England. It has a very set form: it begins with a declaration of rights; it establishes how England should have treated them; then it moves on to the grievances that have led to this document; and finally, it ends with a formal declaration of independence. Students can connect to the idea of a “break-up letter” by writing their own.

Have students imagine it is their senior year of high school, and they are breaking up with their school. Have them craft a letter that:

  • Declares their rights
  • Outlines what a perfect relationship with the school should have been like
  • Lists three grievances against the school that has “messed up” the relationship
  • Ends with a formal declaration of independence from the school, and what it means for the future

After completing the writing for the assignment, have students storyboard the different parts of their letter.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard crafting a break up letter to your high school using the structure of the Declaration of Independence.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the first cell, create a declaration of rights.
  3. In the second cell, outline what the relationship should have been like.
  4. In the third cell, list three grievances against the recipient.
  5. In the fourth cell, formally declare your independence from the school.
  6. Create illustrations for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  7. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/4] Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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