Students will demonstrate this knowledge by writing summaries of selections from the original document and, by the end of the unit, articulating their understanding of the complete document by answering questions in an argumentative writing style to fulfill the Common Core State Standards.
Through this step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Students will be asked to "read like a detective" and gain a clear understanding of the Declaration of Independence.
Through reading and analyzing the original text, the students will know what is explicitly stated, draw logical inferences, and demonstrate these skills by writing a succinct summary and then restating that summary in the student’s own words.
While the unit is intended to flow over a five-day period, it is possible to present and complete the material within a shorter time frame.
For example, the first two days can be used to ensure an understanding of the process with all of the activity completed in class.
What kinds of people settled the new lands of America?
They had their own ideas about laws, religion, and what makes a good government. In 1776, England was far away, and people on this side of the Atlantic were heartily sick and tired of paying taxes on top of taxes to finance England's empty treasury.
In the first lesson this will be facilitated by the teacher and done as a whole-class lesson.
Tell the students that they will be learning what Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1776 that served to announce the creation of a new nation by reading and understanding Jefferson’s own words.