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Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence: a rap song about July 4th (Independence Day) and the founding fathers.

Contains: 4 versions of the song, PDF worksheets, and answer keys. Price: $3.99

This song recounts the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and its signing on the 4th of July. It discusses facts about the founding fathers, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, as well as the concepts of democracy and sovereignty set forth in the document. The teaching materials, including videos, lesson plans, worksheets, and activities help teachers and homeschool parents create lesson plans for the song topics. Students will better understand the Declaration of Independence and its significance.

This social studies song is suitable for teaching the Declaration of Independence to elementary school (4th grade, 5th grade and 6th grade), middle school, high school, home school, and college classes.
Chorus
Where do you think we got the holiday from?
Since day one America declared its freedom
The Declaration of Independence is what it’s named, son
Understand what it is, what it means, and where it came from
(×2)

Verse I
So let me tell you in a sentence
What I speak about here is the Declaration of Independence
It was signed July 4th but which year?
1776 to make it clear
But back then America was 13 colonies of immigrants who sailed
From Great Britain for their sovereignty
And that means freedom
So they gathered resources politically to agree on
But that’s not to say it was all cool
‘Cause even with new freedom it was still slaveowners’ rule
They were laid out: The themes of democracy
No King, no Queen, no hypocrisy
All men are created equal and will be taxed as such
The founding fathers hated being taxed so much
King George across the water sent troops across the border
Enforcing led to killings in Boston like Crispus Attucks

Verse II
Back to the date when the signers signed
Politicians and scientists side by side
56 prominent men in society’s eyes
To name the Committee of Five:
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert Livingston
Benjamin Franklin and Roger Sherman—determined men.
The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Was determined then to be unalienable
No man should be without it
But under British rule in the colonies it seemed to be unattainable
Samuel Adams joined to praise the Declaration and sign
When John Hancock signed it we coined the phrase
It was these signatures that signified the independence that America craved
Fueling the Revolutionary War with a page
A document, a philosophy of American Democracy

Reading

bensguide.gpo.gov
The Declaration of Independence
Features a comprehensive history of the Declaration of Independence, and links to the writers’ biographies and a full transcript.

Archives.gov
The Declaration of Independence
Features a complete transcript of the Declaration of Independence and links to other resources which describe its formation. Excellent for class discussion as it connects the Declaration of Independence to civil rights struggles throughout history.

NPS.gov
Teaching with Historic Places: Independence Day
Features a variety of lesson plans and information sources that explain events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Designed for middle school students.

USHistory.org
The Declaration of Independence
Index of Signers by State
Provides a transcript of the Declaration of Independence, biographies of people who created it, and the history of the document.

Lesson Plans & Activities

PBS.org
The Declaration of Independence: An Analytical View
This lesson plans requires students to watch clips from the PBS program “Liberty! The American Revolution” read documents, and answer sets of questions using knowledge.

Media

BrainPOP.com
Declaration of Independence (video) (subscription and log-in required)
Tim and Moby introduce students to the Declaration of Independence and find out what actually was declared in reaction to events leading up to 1776.

Cosmeo.com Powered by the Discovery Channel (must have log-in; can do a free trial, otherwise must pay for yearly subscription)
“The Declaration of Independence: A Foundation of Ideas for a New Age”
Video explains basic principles and concepts set forth in the Declaration of Independence, and explores American leaders, their ideas, and the historical events that led them to declare independence from England in 1776

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