This module is for High School Activity 4

Activity 4 – Passage 3

Now try again with a new passage from the Declaration of Independence.  

In the second half of paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence, the author continues to make his argument. In terms of a question sequence, think about how the author continues to reveal his purpose.

Two central ideas are interwoven together:

  • Blue highlights indicate how terrible the transgressions of the English government are.
  • Green highlights indicate  how righteous and moral the behavior of the colonists is.

Passage 3: Second Half of Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.  Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.  To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Think again to the steps for generating a text-dependent question. Continue to focus on Step One, which requires students to focus on core understandings. Notice the portions of the standards that are highlighted, and direct your attention to what is most important. 

Also dig into Step Five, which requires teachers to generate a coherent sequence of questions that keep the reader focused on the author’s message.

Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Highlighted words in the standards indicate key words in the standards to help guide in the creation of text-dependent questions.

In this next passage of the Declaration of Independence, it is important to direct students to dig deeper into an understanding of the author's purpose relevant to separation of England.

Check Your Understanding

Now, check your understanding of what would make a good text-dependent question for this passage. Select an answer from the options below and click Submit.

When constructing text-dependent questions, you should have a good understanding of the kinds of responses to expect from students and a target response that best demonstrates close reading, use of accurate, relevant text support, and a deep understanding of the core ideas in the text.