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America's Freedom Documents

Education World presents nine lesson plans for teaching about three important freedom documents -- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Included: Activities that involve students in creating timelines and posters, writing new amendments, and much more.

Imagine turning a $4 investment into more than $4 million! That is what happened when one of the 25 known copies of the first official printing of the Declaration of Independence sold at a Sotheby's online auction for $8.14 million dollars in 2000 -- a record for an internet sale at that time. The copy had been concealed behind an old, torn painting; the man who purchased the painting at a flea market bought it because he liked the frame.

Education World presents nine lessons about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Brief descriptions are provided for each activity. Click any headline for a complete teaching resource.

Editor's note: Most of the lessons below were designed for use with students in grades 5 and above. Some of the activities could be adapted easily for use in lower grades, however.

Declaration of Independence Timeline
Students create a time line of events that led to the Declaration of Independence.

Drafting the Declaration of Independence
Students compare and contrast Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence with the final version of the document.

Interview with the Signers of the Constitution
Students imagine they are newspaper reporters at the signing of the Constitution and write questions would they ask George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.

Explaining the Bill of Rights
Students rewrite the Bill of Rights in their own words.

First Amendment Poster
Students create posters about the First Amendment freedoms of speech and the press.

Charting the Three Branches of Government
Students create charts depicting the structure and functions of the three branches of government.

Create a New Amendment
Students propose a new amendment to the Constitution.

Dear Founders
Students write letters to some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Comparing Pictures
Students compare and contrast two pictures depicting the signing of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

See more lesson ideas on Education World's special Fourth of July holiday page.

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Last updated 06/18/2019