Declaration of Independence Activities Bundle | Civics & American Government

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    We hold these truths to be self-evident...

    This bundle contains 4 resources for teaching Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence: an Understanding the Declaration article, a primary source matching activity, and two annotated close reads, one of the Declaration of Independence itself, and one that compares the Declaration to John Locke's Social Contract! Perfect for middle or high school Civics or American Government classes, this bundle has everything you need for an in-depth, comprehensive view of this foundational document of American government.

    Aligned to Florida State Standards for 7th Grade Civics, SS.7.C.1.1 The Enlightenment and Its Influence and SS.7.C.1.4. The Declaration of Independence, this bundle includes:

    Understanding the Declaration of Independence Worksheets | Article & Review:

    • This four-page article breaks down and explains each section of the Declaration. The article includes questions throughout that quiz students on each section's main idea. A two-page review has students summarize the different sections of the Declaration, define key vocabulary terms, then analyze quotes from the United States Constitution and match to lines from the Declaration.

    Declaration of Independence Matching Activity:

    • Students read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, highlight keywords and phrases, match the primary source excerpts with modern-day interpretations, then draw an illustration that represents each quote.

    Declaration of Independence Close Read for Civics & American Government:

    • This three-page annotated close read of the Declaration (some sections, like the grievances, are excerpted for time) guides students through the primary source document. Questions in the margins ask them to analyze specific sentences, define key terms, and figure out the Big Ideas behind Jefferson's words.

    John Locke & Thomas Jefferson | Social Contract Close-Read & Comparison:

    • This challenging three-page activity has students first read a short passage on John Locke, the Social Contract, and how those ideas influenced Jefferson's Declaration. Then, students close read Locke's writings on the Social Contract, annotating the passage and discerning its main ideas. Finally, an excerpt from the Social Contract is compared with an excerpt from the Declaration, similarities highlighted, key vocabulary defined, and a Big Idea question asked: How did Jefferson apply the concept of the Social Contract to the decision to declare independence for the colonies from the King?

    The resources in this bundle are presented as non-editable PDFs and include Answer Keys.

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    Total Pages
    4 Lessons
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
    1 Week
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