Lesson Plan

Teaching the Declaration of Indpendence

Students understand the reasons why the colonists wrote the Declaration
Victoria C.
Online Independent Study Teacher
Vista Visions Academy
Vista, CA
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My Grades 9, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to:

  • understand key terms (declaration, grievance)
  • explain why the colonists wanted to "break up"with Britain
  • explain the parts of the declaration and what they mean
  • create their own declaration
  • present their declaration to their peers
  • evaluate another student's declaration and presentation skills
Social Studies
Grades 5 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Step One

Using the Nearpod lesson “The Declaration of Independence--The Great Break-Up Story,” teach students about the reasons behind the DoI.  This Nearpod also walks students through the difficult language of the 18th Century and “translates” it into modern English. It includes short videos and quick checks for understanding.  

In addition to the info in the Nearpod, teachers should explain the parts of the declaration (the preamble, natural rights, list of grievances, resoultion.

2 Step Two

Google Drive
Free, Paid

As a follow--up, students can write their own Declarations based on a list of grievances.  They can create it using Google Docs.  Be sure to emphasize the parts of a good declaration and the power of loaded words, logos and pathos, etc.

3 Step Three

Voki Classroom
Free to Try, Paid

Have students present their Declaration to the class or use VoiceThread, Vocaroo, or Voki to record it.  

4 Step Four

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Have students share the Google Doc of their Declarations with a partner.  The partner watches/listens to the other's Declaration and and use the comment feature in Google Docs to identify parts of the declaration and to give feedback on their speaking skills