Independence Day

Why the 4th of July?

1975 George Washington Bicentennial Quarter Reverse
1975 George Washington Bicentennial Quarter Reverse

July 4, 1776 is known as the United States of America’s birthday. But there’s more to this holiday than flags, fireworks, and picnics.

It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress approved a written document we call the Declaration of Independence. This document declared that the 13 Colonies had the right to be their own nation, no longer under the rule of the king of Great Britain. This declaration led to war, as many feared it would; yet the Revolutionary War helped to establish the freedoms that we enjoy in this land today.

Did You Know

We could be celebrating August 2nd! Approving the Declaration made it official even though it wasn’t signed until almost a month later. The draft document was too rough and marked with corrections, so Congress had a new copy made. This copy was to be written in a fancy style and without errors or corrections on parchment (which lasted longer than other kinds of paper). Naturally, this took some time. The official document was actually signed on August 2nd.

Games

Play “Plinky’s Presidential Challenge: Can you put the U.S. presidents in order? Play the Mint’s “Presidential Challenge” game and find out! This fun and educational game can be played for individual enrichment or as part of a classroom lesson.

Activities

Independence Day Word Search: Can you find all 13 words related to America’s birthday?

Declaration of Independence Quiz: Test your 4th of July knowledge and learn new facts about the people who signed the Declaration of Independence!

Coloring Pages: Color your very own coin to celebrate the USA!

Lesson Plans

Let the Music Play! (Grades K-1)
Students will identify George Washington as the first president of the United States. Students will understand what a symbol is and will recognize symbols of America.

By George, I Think We Have It! (Grades 2-3)
Students will identify George Washington and his contributions to the United States. Students will understand the main ideas of the Revolutionary War. Students will understand the basic concept of voting.

Making Cents of Independence (Grades 4-6)
Students will identify the causes and major events of the Texan and American revolutions. Students will also compare and contrast the revolutions.

Roots of American Diplomacy (Grades 7-8)
Students will understand the historical significance of the Iroquois Confederacy by examining Iroquois efforts to secure peace with other Native American peoples through diplomatic relations.

Relevance in Stone (Grades 9-12)
Starting with the Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter, students will analyze how the accomplishments of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt led to their inclusion on Mount Rushmore and relate to contemporary issues.

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