Interesting Lessons About the Declaration of Independence

It can be difficult to get students excited about history, but a sound understanding of how and why our nation was formed is important to grasp as the students in your class will be the future leaders of America. Marie Carney Hossfeld, contributor to the web-based teacher's resource Lesson Planet, provides insight on creating interesting lessons about our country's history and the Declaration of Independence. For use with children between the ages of eight and fourteen, Hossfeld suggests PBS's animated series entitled "Liberty's Kids" with follows the birth of America through the lives of three teenagers growing up during the American Revolution. While the entire series allows children to view this period of history in a new light, Hossfeld highly recommends using Episode 13, "The First Fourth of July", which examines the process by which the Declaration of Independence was drafted, polished, and signed. It is important for your students to realize that what Jefferson's proposal of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people was a radical concept and was met with great opposition. It is also important for students to understand that our founding father's laid their lives on the line for their beliefs. Adding their signature to the Declaration of Independence labeled each man a traitor of England and was punishable by death.

For more great information and ideas for interesting history lessons, be sure to check out Hossfeld's entire article and resource links.

The Making of the Declaration of Independence

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