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The Declaration of Independence...

[Detail] The Declaration of Independence...

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on a few key concepts of the Declaration of Independence, beginning with the phrase "All men are created equal." Students gain an appreciation of Thomas Jefferson's efforts to deal with the complex issues of equality and slavery in the Declaration of Independence.


Students will be able to:

  • develop a working definition of what it means for everyone to be equal;
  • interpret the phrase "All Men Are Created Equal" in the context of the Declaration of Independence;
  • compare their definition of equality to the definition Jefferson was using in the Declaration of Independence; and
  • develop a rationale for Jefferson's usage of the phrase based on his life and historical context.


Time Required

  • 3-4 class periods

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12


  • Government, Law & Politics


  • The American Revolution: 1763-1783


Mike Larson and Doug Hyde