The Declaration of Independence: From Rough Draft to Proclamation
This lesson focuses on the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776 in Philadelphia. Students will analyze an unidentified historical document and draw conclusions about what this document was for, who created it, and why. After the document is identified as Thomas Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, students will compare its text to that of the final document adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776 and discuss the significance of differences in wording.
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
- Examine documents as primary sources.
- Analyze and compare drafts.
- Describe the significance of changes to the document’s text.
One to two class periods
Recommended Grade Level
The American Revolution, 1763-1783
McREL 4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks
- Standard 2. Understands the historical perspective
- Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
- Standard 6. Understands the causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in shaping the revolutionary movement, and reasons for the American victory