The Declaration of Independence, Applied

I use Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” to instruct students on the rudimentaries of rhetoric: deductive and inductive reasoning, etc. This is in addition to teaching the history of what was a legal document creating a state, declaring war, and explaining the cause thereof.

Afterwards I have students make their own declarations of independence, and after showing various examples from the past students often come up with fascinating, humorous, and piquant documents – including one year when an entire class declared their independence from me.

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