Unit 3 Building Block 3

The Declaration of Independence

Big Idea:

  • Individuals influence government in a variety of ways.
  • Unresolved differences between groups of people have led to citizens rebelling against governments, affecting history in different ways.
  • People express their culture in history through art, architecture, literature and music.

Building Block Overview:

Students examine items on Thomas Jefferson’s desk, such as a letter and an invitation, to learn about the Declaration of Independence and the ideas, people, and events that led to this document. In the Preview, students identify well-known people of today who influence them. In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students read about the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and restate, in their own words, key excerpts from the document. Groups create skits that capture the key idea of each excerpt. Students may also create a cartoon illustrating the meaning of each excerpt. In Reading further, students examine Jefferson’s words and actions regarding slavery.

Student Outcomes:

  • I can explain the key elements and purpose of the Declaration of Independence.
  • I can explain how examples of art, music, and literature reflect the times during which they were created.

1.  Lesson Guide Preview, p. 149

2.  Lesson Guide Building Background, p. 149

3. View the Discovery Education video, "The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence (30:24)

4.  Lesson Guide Skill Builder, p. 150, only numbers 1-4

5.  Read and discuss student textbook section 12.6 using the graphic below.  

6.  Lesson Guide Reading Further, p. 151

7.  Checkpoint Assessment