Activity Overview

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in U.S. history, arguably second only to the Constitution itself. A deep understanding of it will illuminate the causes of the American Revolution, and the vision of the Founding Fathers for the new country. For this activity, students will rewrite the Declaration of Independence in their own words. This is a great way for them to demonstrate how much they understood and their ability to parse historical texts.

Template and Class Instructions

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Due Date:

Objective: Write the Declaration of Independence in your own words.

Student Instructions:

  1. Using the template provided, write the Declaration of Independence using your own words.
  2. Remember to write it as if it was written today, not many years ago!

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/11-12/8] Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/11-12/9] Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.


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Declaration of Independence

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