Declaration of Independence Classroom Activities

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The Declaration of Independence is the official pronouncement that the American colonies were no longer under British rule. The activities in this asset support students at various grade levels as they learn about this important document.

The Declaration of Independence

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence to announce the intention of the 13 American colonies to separate from Great Britain. This important document, written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, laid the foundation for a government based on equality in the United States. It also serves as a role model for other countries establishing democratic rule. The following activities may be used to reinforce learning about the Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of Independence Comic

Grade level: 3-5

Materials:

  • colored pencils
  • drawing paper

Procedure:

  • Students will brainstorm the thoughts and emotions of Thomas Jefferson and the other colonial leaders when creating the Declaration of Independence.
  • Students will brainstorm the thoughts and emotions of King George III and the British Parliament when receiving the Declaration of Independence.
  • Students will work collaboratively to create a 6-frame comic strip that tells the story of the Declaration of Independence.

Modern Translation

Grade level: 6-8

Materials:

  • copy of primary document-Declaration of Independence

Procedure:

  • Students will work collaboratively to identify difficult or archaic language from the Declaration of Independence.
  • Students will generate synonyms or definitions for each of the words and phrases identified.
  • Students will rewrite the Declaration of Independence using modern language.
  • Students will create a rap, children's story, or dramatization that presents their new translation.

Independence Day

Grade level: 4th - 8th

Materials:

  • computer
  • video recorder

Procedure:

  • Students will write a script that explains Independence Day celebrations to aliens from another planet. The script will include:
    • The history of July 4, 1776
    • The significance of the Declaration of Independence today
    • The original Fourth of July celebration
    • The relationship between fireworks and Independence Day
    • How Independence Day is celebrated in modern times
  • Students will create a video from their script to share.

Extension Activity

Students will host an Independence Day celebration in the classroom that includes food, decorations, and activities that represent American symbols.

Break-Up Letter

Grade level: 8th - 12th

Materials:

  • copy of primary document-Declaration of Independence
  • sample break-up letters

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support