Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Declaration of Independence Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Declaration of Independence, and supports the standard of examining the structure, content, and consequences of the Declaration of Independence. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • What does it mean to be independent?
  • Why might people want to be independent?

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read the description on the Declaration of Independence topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Personalities,” “Arts and Entertainment,” or “Did You Know?” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Declaration of Independence Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN

Students express what they learned about the Declaration of Independence while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a trailer to a documentary about the Declaration of Independence that answers this question: What is important about the Declaration of Independence
  • Make-a-Map: Create a timeline sequencing the events leading to the Continental Congress’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag representing the values communicated by the Declaration of Independence. 

More to Explore

Mission U.S.: For Crown or Colony: This game challenges students to take on the role of an apprentice to a newspaper printer in Boston in 1770.

Time Zone X: Declaration of Independence:  Challenge players to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:

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