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The Declaration committee

[Detail] The Declaration committee

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776 in Philadelphia. Students will analyze an unidentified historical document and draw conclusions about what this document was for, who created it, and why. After the document is identified as Thomas Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, students will compare its text to that of the final document adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776 and discuss the significance of differences in wording.


Students will be able to:

  • Examine documents as primary sources;
  • Analyze and compare drafts;
  • Describe the significance of changes to the document’s text.


Time Required

  • One to two classes

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12
  • 6-8


  • Government, Law & Politics


  • The American Revolution: 1763-1783