Everywhere I look this weekend I see signs and mentions of 4th of July weekend. My daughters (ages 5 and 6) have noticed them as well. That inspired my oldest to ask while we were driving home from Santa’s Village yesterday afternoon, “what’s 4th of July?” Of course, I was more than happy to explain that to her. 

If you have kids who are also wondering about the significance of the 4th of July, take a look at the short lessons that I’ve listed below. 

History offers the following excerpt from the America: The Story of Us series. The clip is commentary from talking heads like Tom Brokaw and Aaron Sorkin. It could prompt some thought and discussion amongst your students.

TED-Ed has a lesson titled What You Might Not Know About the Declaration of Independence. It’s a lesson that provides overview of the key points in creation of the Declaration of Independence along with a short discussion prompt at the end. The lesson is probably best suited to middle school students.
In History of the 4th of July John Green offers a short overview of the history of Independence Day and the ways in which Americans have celebrated the holiday since 1776. As he always does, Green includes plenty of sarcastic comments throughout the video so if your students have trouble recognizing sarcasm then this won’t be an appropriate video for them.
Keith Hughes has stopped producing new videos on his YouTube channel, but if you go back in his archives you’ll find this gem from 2012. In the upbeat and concise style that made Keith’s YouTube channel popular he provides an overview of the Declaration of Independence.