On July 4th 1776, the United States Declaration of Independence was signed, in which the United States officially declared independence from the British Empire. Today, Americans celebrates its freedom with barbeque, fireworks and festivities.
American Independence Day can be used as an opportunity to teach students about special historic events by using activities and games in their classrooms such as: Worksheets with history trivia; drafting a pledge of allegiance; making presentations for a historical walk in class; holding a theme party; making crafts; having quizzes; plays and skits; drawing competitions and guessing games.
Independence Day History and Worksheets
Never assume that your students already know everything. Go through the history and interesting facts about Independence – Why did you want freedom? How was it achieved? Who were some important figures? What do the colors in the flag mean? What is the United States of America and who did they get freedom from?
Students can review this information through fun worksheets and trivia games. You can also create your own quiz at the end to check their understanding.
I put all the worksheets I could find in a folder for you to use. Just join the email list and everything will be sent to you for FREE. Also, you can check out the Etateach website if you want more ideas and resources for your class.
Pledge of Allegiance in Class
The Pledge of Alliance and National Anthem are two very important parts of being a citizen.
Explain the what both mean and demonstrate the appropriate behavior during the Pledge of Allegiance. Explain that the word pledge is a synonym for the word promise, and brainstorm a list of promises they have made. Then, let them draft their own Pledge of Allegiance for your class. When they are done, vote on the best pledge and adopt it. To make it more fun, tell students that they should add at least one silly rule.
Historical Walk Classroom Presentation
Make a list of historical places in your country. This could include national monuments or places that are of modern significance. Like the White House, Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore. Then add a list of famous historical figures like Thomas Jefferson or the presidents.
Assign either a place or person to a pair of students. Their job is to research and create a display for their subject – Like a poster and presentation that they will explain. A week later rearrange your class like a mini fair, where each pair puts up their presentation and poster. You and the other students walk around and each pair explains the significance of their subject.
You can even invite the principal or other teachers to see.
Independence Day Theme Party
Before you do the historical walk, it might be fun to add patriotic decorations.
Kids can dress up like national leaders, create décor using the national colors of red, white and blue. Put up other items of relevance like fireworks or eagles and organize some food related to the fourth of July. Students can play fun games like corn-hole or even do a trivia quiz on everything they have learned about Independence Day.
Independence Day Crafts for Kids
It’s also fun for the kids to create some crafts. Some easy, fun ideas for Independence Day includes an Uncle Sam hat, Statue of Liberty costume, Q-tip fireworks, American flag paper plates, paper lanterns in red, white and blue, or even a pop rocket.
State Capitol quiz
Another fun activity is placing students in groups, then having them guess the names of the fifty states and their capitols. There are two papers, one with the states and the other with the names of the capitols. – No phones may be used.
US or BS Guessing Game
There are 18 places in the United States with funny names. Students have to guess which ones are real and which are fake. This is a fun game that students enjoy debating. Remember to make class a social experience by placing learners in pairs or small groups. There is little fun in doing these all on their own.
Patriotic Plays or Skits for Class
This is a fun activity where students act out historically important events or create their own skits. You can write the script or let them do their own. They could make a play about a famous event or re-enact patriotic moments. It could be anything from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the Boston Tea Party. Have fun with it and learners will make precious memories. It also gives them a better understanding of their history and what previous generations have done for them.
Freedom Drawing Competition
Drawings competitions provide a wonderful way to encourage creativity in kids. Organize a painting or drawing competition on the topic of Independence Day. Emphasize the theme of freedom and motivate students to express their feelings through colors. The winners will have their art displayed in class and try to add it to the school newspaper if you have one.
Freedom Questions for Kids
Personal freedom is one topic children love to discuss because even at a young age, some kids feel they have limited rights and very few choices. As their teacher you can have these conversations in class.
In the resources file are some fun Freedom Questions they can ask a partner and other questions that can help them discuss their personal freedoms.
By teaching students how Americans celebrate their Independence Day as an example, we present students of other nations the opportunity to similarly discuss and in a fun way learn about such historic days in their cultures. As teachers we should create fun activities to enjoy with our students and help them understand the importance of such days and to remember the people that made it possible.