The Declaration of Independence contains some of the most dramatic, beautiful, and inspiring language recorded in the English language. It is however, a fairly unapproachable text for most students unless they can effortlessly crack an 800 on their SAT’s verbal section. To address this problem, this product defines the challenging vocab words in the Declaration as they appear so students can follow along with Jefferson’s prose. Also, to help direct attention to particular passages, each row is numbered so you can quickly point your class to a paragraph you’d like to discuss.
In this lesson, students are asked to actively read the document. For the opening and closing sections of the Declaration, students paraphrase the text’s meaning. A teacher key and guiding notes are provided as an aid to you. Once students reach the grievances section, (the itemized reasons for independence) students are then asked to work with a partner to identify the complaints that are related to one of the Intolerable Acts, or other historic events likely already studied in class. (This lesson assumes students are familiar with the major events that have occurred since the end of the French and Indian War.)
In addition to an annotated version of the Declaration and teacher notes, 4 multiple choice questions are provided to you. They can be used to supplement a quiz or used as an exit ticket.
Total time needed is 1 to 2 class periods.
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