How did the Patriots justify their separation from Great Britain?
Download Lesson: Declaration of Independence
This 8th grade lesson is designed to support student understanding of the key reasons why the Patriots decided to break their ties to Great Britain. Through the examination of primary sources, Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence, students will identify the meaningful passages of texts that warrant the Americans’ desire for political freedom. They will particularly concentrate on the Patriots’ grievances against the monarchy. Students will explore the evolution of American democracy by discovering parallels between the messages of “the abuse of power” by the British government versus the need for American “self-government” found in both texts. They will interpret and use the evidence from the sources provided to support their answer to the lesson’s overall focus question, How did the Patriots justify their separation from Great Britain? This task will give teachers the opportunity to enhance students’ reading comprehension, historical analysis, and writing skills,as well as their content knowledge.