Prequel to Independence
- National Archives Education Team
- Finding a Sequence
- Historical Era:
- Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)
- Primary Historical Thinking Skill:
- Chronological Thinking
- Bloom's Taxonomy:
In this activity, students sequence key events leading to the Declaration of Independence by placing documents in chronological order.
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:
- Deposition of Captain John Parker Concerning the Battle at Lexington
- The Declaration of Independence
- Reading of the Declaration of Independence from the East balcony of the Old State House, Boston, Massachusetts July 18, 1776. Copy of artwork.,
- Adoption of the Resolution Calling for Independence from England
- The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor. 1773. Copy of lithograph by Sarony & Major, 1846
- View of The Attack on Bunker’s Hill, with the Burning of Charles Town, June 17, 1775. Copy of engraving by Lodge after Millar, circa 1775-80
- Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. Copy of chromolithograph by John Bufford after William L. Champney, circa 1856
- Paul Revere’s ride
- Sketch of British and American Lines and Fortifications in Boston Area by John Trumbull
- Drafting the Declaration of Independence. The Committee - Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Livingston and Sherman. Copy of engraving after Alonzo Chappel.