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Declaration of Independence

Explore ways to learn more about the Declaration of Independence, including primary and secondary resources, and teaching tools.

Teaching Resources

  • National Archives: Declaration of Independence
    The National Archives website includes a number of resources for educators, including high resolution scans of important primary documents.  Its DocsTeach site, an online tool for teaching with primary sources, contains a lesson plan for teaching the Declaration that considers arguments made in the Continental Congress both for and against signing the document.
  • Library of Congress: Teachers
    This site has primary sources and lesson plans on a variety of topics in American history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and the Constitution of the United States.
  • Harvard University’s Declaration Resources Project
    This site provides resources about the Declaration of Independence, its history, its signers, and its continued relevance. It includes a number of wonderful infographics and other printable materials for teaching and display. Their article “Which Version is This, and Why Does it Matter?” provides information on all of the different versions of the Declaration of Independence, including the Southwick Broadside on display at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Liberty! The Series
    The PBS documentary Liberty! The Series is an excellent film for teaching students about important moments in early American history, and their website provides a helpful teaching guide. Episode Two of this series, “Blows Must Decide” is about Common Sense, the Declaration of Independence, and the ensuing war between the colonies and England. Washington University has a VHS copy of Liberty! The Series available to check out in Olin library.