This "close reading" activity provides students an opportunity to comprehend one of the most important documents in history: the Declaration of Independence!
This document-based activity begins with your students reading the words of Thomas Jefferson on their own, or together with the class with an instructor's guidance. Students will circle words that they do not understand and the use a dictionary to define those words. They can substitute synonyms onto their copy of the document. Then, your students will re-read the Declaration with the synonyms and definitions and underline the main idea of each paragraph. Students can discuss their findings with their peers or an instructor.
Finally, students will answer a series of short, document-based questions to help them develop a deeper, more thorough understanding of the document that declared the United States an independent nation. At the conclusion of this activity, students will have a new perspective on how the Enlightenment influenced American independence, and how those ideals are at the foundation of the American republic!
Answer Key is included!
This activity aligns to our "Objective 1.6 - The Declaration of Independence" video lecture, which can be found here:
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