Learning about Independence Day, Grades 6-12
Lessons & Activities, Background Reading, and More
Learn about the men and ideas that influenced the writing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence and how the 4th of July has been celebrated over the years with these lessons, activities, and other resources.
Lesson Plans & Activities
It's Independence Day! Or is it?
Students in grades 3-12 explore all the dates during the summer of 1776 that are associated with the Declaration of Independence and consider why there are so many different dates and why we celebrate the nation's birthday on July 4.
The Declaration of Independence: From Rough Draft to Proclamation
Students in grades 6-12 compare and discuss the significance of differences in Thomas Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence and the final document adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776.
Make a 4th of July Coloring Book
Download free printable 4th of July coloring pages to make a coloring book.
Creating the Declaration of Independence (Library of Congress)
A collection of 136 documents, artifacts, and interactives.
Declaration of Independence (National Archives and Records Administration)
Read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration and documents that inspired it, view an original copy, and identify the signers in Barry Faulkner’s 1936 mural.
Fourth of July Celebrations Database (American University)
Discover how the 4th has been celebrated over the years and different parts of the country.
Fourth of July is Independence Day (USA.gov)
Fun facts, flag history, patriotic songs, and more.
4th of July lessons: Protest, Revolution, and Independence (EDSITEment)
Lessons for grades 3-12 covering African Americans in the revolution and beyond, Colonial protests, Declaration of Independence, founding fathers, religion, and the Revolutionary War.
Fourth of July Orations Collection
The collection contains published pamphlets of addresses made on Independence Day from 1791-1925 in New England states, Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana, as well as Canada, France, Italy, and Hawaii before statehood.
The American Revolution - For Teachers (Library of Congress)
Readings and documents for students in grades 8-12.
Looking Into holidays Past Through Primary Sources - For Teachers — Summer (Library of Congress)
Primary sources for students in grades 6-12 to hear, see, and read.
- The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789
- Family Trivia: Independence Day Quizzes (Grades 6-12)
- Independence Day Quiz
30 challenging questions suited for high school students.
Books & Video
- The Signers: The 56 Stories behind the Declaration of Independence
By Dennis Brindell Fradin and Michael McCurdy
Walker Books for Young Readers (January 1, 2003)
- The Signers of the Declaration of Independence
By Robert Ferris and Richard Morris
Interpretive Publications (June 1982)
- July 4th (The History Channel)
12 brief videos and 4 photo galleries.
- 1776 The Musical
Excerpts from the 1972 film version of the musical.
last updated: May 23, 2014