Happy Independence Day! (July 4th)

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Happy Independence Day!

How to celebrate Independence Day:

For anyone:

  • Enjoy fireworks!  Check out the American Council on Fireworks Saftey’s tips!
  • Grill some food, make homemade ice cream and slice up some watermelon!
  • Watch 1776, the most delightful musical about the creation of the Declaration of Independence ever!

  • Watch Independence Day

  • Or start watching my new favorite show, Turn!  It tells the story of the spies on both sides of the Revolutionary War.  The show clearly did research on the time period including the occurence of first and second sleep.  It’s available on streaming Netflix.

For children:

  • Make fireworks art with glue and either colored sand or glitter on black paper.
  • Bring home a Felicity Merriman doll.  See the Revolutionary War through the eyes of a school age girl through her series of books set in 1774..  I learned much about the Colonial period from reading her books, including the fact that, back then, children learned to read from a hornbook.
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My American Girl dolls from childhood dressed in colonial wear.  

For teachers:

Keep it simple: 

  • Bask in your freedom.

Go all out:

Books to Read about Independence Day:

I must tell you I am dissatisfied with the books available for Independence Day.  These three children’s books are good, but not spectacular.

  • Of Thee I Sing is a beautiful tribute to many great historical American figures including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and many others.  There were many great American’s left off this list, but that is true of any list.

  • John, Paul, George & Ben tells the story of these founding fathers as children.  However it boils things down too far, at the expense of accuracy.  John Hancock presided over the Continental Congress at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but he was more than a “bold lad” with a large signature.  Paul Revere’s night ride is memorialized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, but he was more than a “noisy lad.”  This book is cute and it’s a good introduction to these founding fathers, but the Ordinary People Change the World Series does a better job of making historical figures relatable to children without sacrificing accuracy.

  • Tulip Sees America is a beautiful book about a boy who loads up his Green beetle and takes his dog, Tulip to see America.  They travel through Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.  The story reads like a poem and the art is unique and beautiful.  My son and I like to read it along with an atlas so we can find states as the man visits them in the story.

  • 1776 is a great book for adults covering an important segment of the Revolutionary War and the decisions of our founding fathers.  It is beautifully written and skillfully read (if you listen to the audiobook).  I loved the inclusion of information from so many sources (newspapers, journals, personal letters, etc).

Disclosures: This post does contain affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the linked product, I will receive a referral fee (up to 10%).

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