A Trustee’s Reason for Treason

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Middle School

Author Info

Win Anderson & Stephanie Knauss

Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



60-90 minutes

Challenge Question

The actions of the revolutionaries could be considered treason against their British king. Which one of these grievances listed by the revolutionaries in the Declaration of Independence would drive you to commit treason? You will be creating a proposed t-shirt design for your grievance, along with a proposal explaining your concept.


Students will have previously studied key events from the Road to Revolution, specifically colonial protest. They will have already studied the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence. This application activity will challenge students to deepen their understanding of one particular grievance and make a personal connection with the colonists. One goal of this activity is for students to see the prior expressions or manifestations of the grievances in the Declaration. Students can create their designs through the program of their choice.


  1. Click on “My Collection” and select the tab, “A Trustee’s Reason for Treason.” Click on the Declaration of Independence to read the colonists’ list of grievances.
  2. Choose one grievance that would motivate you to commit treason and support the revolution.
  3. On your project page, click “Work with Text” to type a clever slogan onto your t-shirt that represents your grievance.
  4. Click on “My Collection.” Select the tab, “A Trustee’s Reason for Treason,” and choose an image to represent your grievance on your t-shirt. (If you want more choices, you can search the collection and click the folder icon to save the item to your collection.)
  5. Go back to your project in Create. To add the image to your t-shirt, click “Add Image” and drag the image from your collection into the tool box.
  6. Be prepared to share your design and explain why you chose the grievance you did.