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The Declaration of Independence - What the Words Mean to Me



Activity Overview


In this activity, students will use a grid storyboard to detail excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and explain what it means to them. The significance should stem from a historically based opinion, supporting the wording of the document with factually correct ideas. By putting excerpts alongside student’s interpretation, students will be able to dig deeper into the document and it can prompt classroom discussion. Students will be able to analyze and explain what each excerpt they select from the Declaration means to them, while also analyzing the language, text, and major ideas from the document itself.


Extended Activity

Have students select excerpts from France’s Declaration of Rights of Man, and connect what it might mean to them with how it was influenced by the American Declaration of Independence. This will again allow deeper analysis as well as a connective force between two seminal documents.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/8] Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that illustrates what you think the Declaration of Independence means.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the top row, identify 3 different quotes or excerpts from the Declaration.
  3. In the bottom row, describe what those quotes mean to you.
  4. Create an illustration for each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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Declaration of Independence





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