DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Activity: Primary Source Analysis and Questions

Rated 4.81 out of 5, based on 199 reviews
199 Ratings
Mister Harms
Grade Levels
7th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
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  • Google Apps™
4 pages
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What educators are saying

This was a great activity to do with the students. I had them analyze and annotate in groups, but I think many of my 8th graders could do this on their own as well. I will use this again next year.
Terrific resource to analyze the Declaration Of Independence! Loved the format to break it down. Thank you!
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Learning Objective

Students will dive into the Declaration of Independence and learn about the important concepts within this historical document.


The Declaration of Independence can be a daunting document for teachers to explain to students, but this primary source lesson will help students understand the major themes and concepts within the document itself. Though Thomas Jefferson's Declaration was written in the 18th century, this worksheet has proven to be a fantastic, big-picture way for today's students to study such an important writing without becoming overwhelmed.

The Declaration is really just a big "break-up letter" from the colonists to the King. While referring to the included primary source text of the Declaration, students will answer given questions and find a variety of excerpts to help them understand this important piece of antiquity. This activity has been a fabulous, concise way for my students to best understand the Declaration of Independence. I love using this for my 7th & 8th grade classes, but I would highly recommend this to be appropriate through grade 12.

⭐️ This resource is also a part of my Early American History Bundle! Save more than 25% on this resource and others by purchasing the discounted bundle! ⭐️

What's Included:

  • Complete set of teacher directions to help guide the lesson that includes a few suggestions and ideas for introducing the lesson.
  • A copy of the Declaration of Independence text broken down into 11 sections.
  • Two page primary-source analysis worksheet with questions to answer, excerpts to find, and sections to summarize.
  • A one page list of extension activities for further reinforcement and understanding.
  • All documents are in PDF and GOOGLE DRIVE format!

Additional Reinforcement:

If you'd like an additional idea for studying the Declaration, I highly recommend supplementing this lesson with my Declaration of Independence: Break-Up Letter Lesson! I like to use both of these resources with my students as each resource helps various learners! I also love setting up the Declaration of Independence unit with my lesson on Thomas Paine's Common Sense!

⭐️ Great resource. I'm always trying to find ways to make primary sources more fun and this definitely delivered. My students still bring this up months after we did the activity! Thank you! - Jessica ★★★★★

Thank You!

Thanks so much for stopping by! It's great to meet you! I hope this resource adds value to your classroom. If you have time, I'd love for you to leave a rating on this product with your awesome feedback, and make sure to follow Mister Harms for important updates and savings. I would also love to see how you've incorporated this product into your classroom. Feel free to post a photo of this resource in action and tag @misterharms so I can meet you! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Total Pages
4 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.


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