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Declaration of Independence Lesson Plan and Activity

Grade Level Grades 6-8
Resource Type Handout, Lesson Plan

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Overview: In this lesson, students will learn key vocabulary to facilitate reading the Declaration of Independence. Students will write a summary of the Declaration of Independence. Finally, students will make connections to today by watching a series of PBS Digital Media videos and discussing voting restrictions and our civic responsibilities today.

This segment of learning will follow our lessons on Taxation without Representation and will precede lessons on the American Revolution. Students will already have an understanding of representative democracy and will have taken some notes on the Declaration of Independence.

Essential Questions:

  • Why is voting the most basic right and responsibility in a democracy?
  • How does voting embody what the Declaration of Independence calls the “consent of the governed” to “the powers” exercised by the government?
  • How have voting rights been restricted historically and contemporarily?

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