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


  • colored pencils
  • drawing paper


  • 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


  • copy of primary document-Declaration of Independence


  • 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


  • computer
  • video recorder


  • 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


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

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