“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” Thomas Jefferson wrote those words a couple hundred years ago and with the flick of a pen set in motion events that changed the world. What would happen if your kids could air their grievances, and they could make their own Declaration of Independence? What would the kids say in their Kids Declaration of Independence? Well that’s what this Declaration of Independence writing activity was all about.
(There is one and only one affiliate link in here and it’s marked with an *, maybe someday I’ll add another affiliate link, who knows)
Before we dug into our Declaration of Independence writing activity….
I forced the kids to watch Thomas Jefferson read the Declaration of Independence (you know, if you type independence enough times you start trying to subtract “n’s” from the word).
In my quick 30 second search, I found this particular one. This is not the original one I found, but closer to what I was looking for. I was trying to find the one where he read it from the steps of the Governor’s Palace at Colonial Williamsburg, but apparently, that was a live stream on their Facebook page.
If you want a more dramatic rendition, then watch this reading of the Declaration of Independence. Apparently, this is from the history channel miniseries Sons of Liberty* (this may be on my wish list for my birthday now, this particular DVD includes a mini-series on the Texas Revolution, can you say SCORE?.
Afterward, we talked about what the Americans were complaining about, and what rights they believed they had.
Then I challenged them to come up with their own Kids Declaration of Independence, and they got right to it. We used the extra tea-dyed paper from our captain’s logs.
Side note of expectations for the Declaration of Independence writing activity
This was not an official assignment. I was only assigning the Declaration of Independence writing activity to get them thinking what grievances they had. Well, that and to see what they would complain about (which was rather eye opening, you should see the Instagram video).
Oh, and I made them wear their Colonial Costumes because it made for better pictures.
I’m surprised none of them complained about that.
Their Kid Declarations of Independence
I filmed Batman’s on Instagram. Then about halfway through I ran out of space on Princess’, which is just as well because that let me edit out names. Sigh, kids who are all caught up in the acting (we’re working on Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the kids are serious hams, especially Princess).
Princess quite happily started off hers with an objection to her brother’s requests. I also loved the boys ending up fighting in the background, I had the hardest time keeping a straight face through it all.
Meanwhile, Superman, as per usual probably had the most hilarious demands, and also ones I was least likely to give in to. I am not getting him a fart pillow.
More on the American Revolution
or for some fun Summer learning check out these ideas
Learning Printable: Fun in the Sun Summer Activity Pack from Embark on the Journey
Science Activity: Fluffy Patriotic Slime from Schooling a Monkey
Math Activity: 4th of July Math Printable from You’ve Got This Math
History: Declaration of Independence Writing Activity from Adventures in Mommydom