The Declaration of Independence: Would You Sign It?
Every Fourth of July, Americans celebrate the courage and vision of the men who gathered together in July 1776 to sign our nation's Declaration of Independence. This document, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by other famous figures like John Adams, lists the many reasons why colonial leaders came to the decision that would change the course of history: the decision to leave English rule and determine America's own fate as a country.
As it turned out, the great words of the Declaration of Independence did more than just start our Revolution. Since 1776, its principles have acted as a base for the Constitution and have inspired revolutionary, freedom movements across the world.
In this activity, explore the Declaration of Independence by having your teenagers pretend to be a member of the group that signed it. This is a great activity to help your teenagers start to identify the personal and collective values in our nation and can be the start of an important, life-long discussion.
What You Need:
- Our "Declaration of Independence Pledge Sheet" (download here)
- Several curious middle school (or older) kids who are studying American History (and maybe an interested adult moderator or two!)