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Drafting the
Declaration of
Independence

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Subjects

  • Social Sciences
  • Arts&Humanities
  • Ed. Technology

Grade

  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Students work in small groups to compare and contrast Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence with the final version.

Objectives

Students explain the differences between the Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence and the final version of the document. Students work together in cooperative groups.

Keywords

Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, draft, Continental Congress

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

copies of the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson's draft, paper, pens or pencils

Lesson Plan

  • Prior to lesson: Print out copies of the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson's draft, available online at The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America and The Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Introduction: Explain to students that when many people write, they put their ideas on paper as a draft that will later be revised.
  • Read to students background information about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, available online at Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents.
  • Tell students that Thomas Jefferson was the person chosen to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. He presented his draft to the other members of the drafting committee for review.
  • Divide the class into small groups. Distribute the copies of the draft and final version of the Declaration of Independence. Have students list differences between the draft and the final version of the document.

Assessment

Have students read and discuss their lists. Ask students to speculate reasons for the changes. As a follow-up, ask students whether they would make the same changes.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts::
NL-ENG.K-12.3
NL-ENG.K-12.4
NL-ENG.K-12.6
NL-ENG.K-12.7

Social Sciences::
NSS-USH.5-12.3

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