The Declaration of Independence Classroom Activities by Scholastic SC-0439385199-938519

The Declaration of Independence American Revolution Activity

The History
In the summer of 1776, over a year after the confrontations at Lexington and Concord, after the bloodless capture of Fort Ticonderoga, and the bloody Battle of Bunker Hill, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. John Adams of Massachusetts spurred the delegates to approve a break from Great Britain. Then he and Ben Franklin turned to the delegate from Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and asked him to write the reasons why the American colonies were rebelling from the Mother Country. Jefferson went to write in his rented room. Several days and many drafts later, he returned with a document in which he listed a number of reasons why the colonies should rebel. “King George III,” wrote Jefferson, “has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislatures. He has cut off our trade with all parts of the world, he has imposed taxes without our consent, he has deprived us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.” Before listing these abuses however, Jefferson wrote a paragraph that would ring down through the ages. It reads, in part,

WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity

Sample PDF Activity

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

On July 4, 1776, the members of the Second Continental Congress approved this Declaration of Independence.

The Assignment
First, make sure you understand what “self-evident,” “endowed by their Creator,” and “unalienable” mean. Then have some fun with this section of the Declaration of Independence. Think of another creature you might substitute for “men.” Try cows, chickens, or snails. Then consider what these creatures might declare as their unalienable rights. Rewrite and illustrate your new Declaration of Independence.

Possible Title
Declaration of Animal Independence

From Read Draw Remember American History Activities by Scholastic SC-0439385199-938519

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