- What is the relationship between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
- How do these Founding documents reflect common republican principles?
- Students will analyze the relationship between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by looking at key phrases from each document.
- Students will examine how and why Founding Principles found in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are important to governance and to individuals’ lives today.
- Background Essay: An “Apple of Gold” in a “Picture of Silver”: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
- Graphic Organizer for Background Essay: An “Apple of Gold” in a “Picture of Silver”: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
- “Fragment on the Constitution and Union”
- Graphic Organizer: An “Apple of Gold in a “Picture of Silver” Activity
- Government around the World
Facilitation Notes: Stronger readers can read the background essay and complete the graphic organizer as background/preparatory work. Students will consult Appendix A: Founding Principles and Civic Virtues Organizer and Appendix B: Being an American Unit Graphic Organizer from the first lesson in this curriculum.
Ask students to bring in a framed picture or photograph or to be ready to share a photo of one from their home if they can’t bring it in.
- Have students share their framed picture/photograph with a partner or small group. What is this a picture or photograph of? Why is it framed?
- Bring the class together and ask students to consider the following questions:
- What purpose does the frame serve?
- How do the frame and picture work together for a common purpose?
- Distribute Background Essay and Graphic Organizer for Background Essay to students. Have students work together to read the background essay and complete the graphic organizer. Before they begin reading, have students highlight familiar words in the title and subheadings in one color and words they don’t know in another color. Discuss student responses. Clarify terms as needed.
- Distribute “Fragment on the Constitution and Union.” Read aloud or individually. Discuss answers to the comprehension questions. Then, have students complete the graphic organizer.
- Distribute An “Apple of Gold” in a “Picture of Silver” Activity. Assign the principles using the graphic organizer from the background essay. Students can complete the frame activity individually or in small groups, using poster board for each principle. Share or display picture frames for the class to view.
- Have students return to Appendix A: Founding Principles and Civic Virtues Organizer from the first lesson in this curriculum and complete the definitions of consent of the governed/popular sovereignty and rule of law based on what they learned in this activity.
- Have students return to Appendix B: Being an American Unit Graphic Organizer from the first lesson in this curriculum and complete the applicable row as an exit ticket.
- Have students research another country’s government and compare its constitutional structure to that of the U.S. government. Ask students to report their findings on Government around the World.
- Ask students to write a one-page response to the following question: What fundamental beliefs about government are reflected in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution?
“A Glorious Liberty Document”: The U.S. Constitution and Its Principles
Background Essay: An “Apple of Gold” in a “Picture of Silver”: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
Graphic Organizer for Background Essay: An “Apple of Gold” in a “Picture of Silver”: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution
The Declaration of Independence Explained | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI
What was the Continental Congress's argument for Independence? Join Kirk Higgins, as he takes a line by line look at the the Declaration of Independence.
Declaration of Independence (1776)
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee brought what came to be called the Lee Resolution before the Continental Congress. This resolution stated “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states ...” Congress debated independence for several days.
Constitution of the United States of America (1787)
The Constitution was written in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by delegates from 12 states, in order to replace the Articles of Confederation with a new form of government. It created a federal system with a national government composed of 3 separated powers, and included both reserved and concurrent powers of states.