After completing a study of the Enlightenment period, students will read the Declaration of Independence while highlighting phrases that appear to be influenced by Enlightenment philosophers. Working with a hard copy of the Declaration, students should justify their selections by citing in the margins which philosopher's ideas were likely applied.
This collection uses primary sources to explore the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
The students will see how earlier historical documents influenced the creation of the Constitution of the United States. The graphic organizers will help the students understand the influence of five documents: the Magna Carta, the Charters of the Virginia Company of London, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.