The Declaration of Independence- A Modern Voice on Democracy and Citizenship
Alta S. Leary Elementary School

Students will use their own voice to create a declaration that is meaningful and applies to the real world.

Students will define government and revolution.
Students will define the meaning of The Declaration of Independence and why this document is important to our country.
Students will use their own voice to create a declaration that is meaningful and applies to the real world.
Students will work cooperatively.
Give Me Liberty! The Story of the Declaration of Independence by Russell Freedman (2001, Holiday House)
A copy of the Declaration of Independence
Access to research materials or a computer.
Period 1
1. Read the book Give Me Liberty! The Story of the Declaration of Independence by Russell Freedman in small groups.
2. Whole class- Discuss the importance of what our Founding Fathers were trying to accomplish.

Period 2
1. Small group- Each group will discuss the meaning of the second paragraph of the Declaration starting with ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’ to ‘as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness’. Write down on a card what Jefferson meant by these words.
2. Whole group- How can we take what Thomas Jefferson and our Founding Fathers wanted to convey and translate that into our own voice for 2009? What would be important to us, without losing the message of the original document?
3. Small group- Groups will begin to generate a list of ideas relevant to our world today.
4. Begin to write the ‘new’ document.

Period 3
1. Small Group- Write the Declaration for 2009 using the voice of your group, without losing the voice of the Founding Fathers. Use the computer to type so that it looks like an official document.
2. Groups share what they have written.
Each ‘new’ Declaration should show a new voice, without losing the original message of the Declaration of Independence. Collect all cards and notes in order to see the process of developing the Declaration for 2009.