Skip to content

Historical Era

Thinking Skill


Prequel to Independence

Launch Lesson

National Archives Education Team
Finding a Sequence
Historical Era:
Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
Primary Historical Thinking Skill:
Chronological Thinking
blooms taxonomy
Bloom's Taxonomy:

Use to create an Activity

Prequel to Independence


In this activity, students sequence key events leading to the Declaration of Independence by placing documents in chronological order.

Author’s Notes

This activity can be used as a review or recapitulation at the end of a unit of study. It can also be used as an assessment tool. Students can work independently or in groups. The activity is appropriate for grades 5-8.

Students should be able to name key events leading up to the Declaration of Independence in sequence. In this activity, students place document in chronological order. Then, they write a descriptive paragraph (essay) using the documents as examples and evidence of key events that contributed to declaring independency.

For follow up projects, students might create illustrated timelines, short papers, newspapers, or dramatic presentations based on these documents. They might incorporate music of the era and additional resources from a variety of historic collections.

Documents in this activity: