Are you looking for some interesting ideas to help you and your family celebrate this Independence Day?
Whether you are taking the summer off and are looking for some crafts or you are homeschooling year round and are looking for some fun units, we hope you’ll enjoy these ideas for celebrating the 4th of July.
What we celebrate, why we celebrate, and other facts from the History Channel.
History of the 4th
What are we celebrating and why? From PBS.
Declaring Independence: Chronology of Events
A timeline of events.
Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents
How the Declaration was written.
Declaration of Independence
Read the document.
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention
There were 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention, 39 of whom signed the Constitution. “The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were dominant in their communities and states, and many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental forces, most of them in positions of command.”
Where the Declaration was adapted and the Constitution debated in Philadelphia.
Betsy Ross and the American Flag
How it came to be that she was called upon by a committee of the Continental Congress to sew the first flag.
How to Display the Flag
As we fly our flags this 4th of July, it might be a good time to brush up on flag etiquette.
The Liberty Bell
“Tradition tells of a chime that changed the world on July 8, 1776, with the Liberty Bell ringing out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.” The history of the Liberty Bell and the role it played in proclaiming liberty throughout the land.
Congressional Prayers for the Fourth of July
“By tradition Congress convenes its sessions with opening prayers, one each for the House and Senate. Most prayers are spiritual, reflective, and tend to focus on, for example, the need for heavenly guidance for the work Congress is about to tackle. Independence Day prayers are somewhat different in that they have included topical commentary and perspective-based sentiments regarding the Declaration of Independence and the country’s patriots.” Read a sampling of these prayers.
The Road to Revolution
Ready to find out how much you know? “Test your knowledge about the American Revolution, and see if you can navigate your way to independence. Every correct answer gets you closer to liberty!” From PBS.
The Declaration of Independence: Rewriting the Rough Draft
An interactive look at Jefferson’s rough draft and suggestions to make your own from the Library of Congress.
The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull
An interactive look at the painting from the History Channel.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Another interactive look at Trumbull’s painting from the Seattle Art Museum with an eye on the signers.
Join the Signers of the Declaration
Sign and print the document with your signature.
You Are There: “Philadelphia, July 4, 1776”
Download part of the old radio series with John Daly narrating.
5-Pointed Star in One Snip
Instructions on how to make your own.
Fireworks & Fun
Create your own animated fireworks…with music! From PBS.
Cute craft and fun to hold and wave during a 4th of July parade or celebration.
4th of July Cake
Your children will love making and eating this beautiful “flag”!
Red, White ‘n’ Blue Salad
Another “flag” you can eat, but this one is a fruit salad.
4th of July Crafts and Recipes
69-page download full of ideas!
Activities and Crafts for the 4th of July
From Enchanted Learning.
America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney
No politics, just a beautifully illustrated, simple introduction to those things that make America America.
The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
Favorite author tells the story of freedom.
“The Declaration of Independence”
Chapter from The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by H.E. Guerber.
Unit Studies & Lesson Plans
Creating Your Own Mini Unit Studies: National Holidays
Lots of 4th of July research, study, and celebration ideas!
4th of July Unit
A “short” one that children can do themselves — with games, biographies, stories, virtual tours, crafts, and an online quiz.
The Declaration of Independence
20-page lesson plan that includes a radio play, understanding the document, art appreciation, and other activities.
America the Beautiful
4-page lesson plan centered around the song.
Printables & Notebooking Pages
Declaration of Independence
Printable of the original document.
The 4th of July by the Numbers
Neat infographic from the History Channel for notebook!
4th of July Lapbook
Free 19-page download by Angela Frampton covering important characters, fireworks, the flag, independence, patriotism, and other symbols of freedom.
4th of July Crafts
Cute printables from Hallmark.