On July 4 each year, the United States celebrates Independence Day. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in which citizens of the thirteen American colonies announced their break from the British Empire and their intention to form a new nation: the United States of America. This Share My Lesson collection provides educators with free preK-12 lesson plans, activities, and materials to use to teach their students about Independence Day.
What is the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and its self-evident truths of equal and unalienable rights? Our ebook, “The Meaning of Independence Day,” explores the ideas behind the American Founding and their significance for our present personal freedoms and national flourishing. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. Includes readings by Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and more.
On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence. It named a committee to do the writing. One of its members was Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer from Virginia. He had been a leader in Virginia, and Virginia had elected him to the Continental Congress. The others on the committee were too busy with the revolution to work on the declaration, so Jefferson wrote it alone.
Here’s a fun activity for all ages with vocabulary that is tied to Constitution Day! Answers are provided as well!
Presidents Day was originally established in 1885 as “Washington’s Birthday” to celebrate President George Washington’s birthday on February 22. In 1971, the federal government renamed the holiday Presidents Day in order to honor all U.S. presidents, past and present. Share My Lesson has curated a collection of free lesson plans, educational resources and classroom materials on the accomplishments of U.S. presidents, first ladies, and the role and responsibilities of the president in government and in a democracy.
Find new ways to teach students about the meaning of Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11th. Share My Lesson’s collection of free, vetted K-12 lesson plans and activities has new ideas, including how to turn this holiday into a community action day and a helpful toolkit for children of military families
Three writing prompts for Constitution Day are provided for middle school and high school. The prompts can be used as a formal essay, at writing stations, or as a “discuss and write.”
November is National Native American Heritage Month, and now more and more schools are recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, in lieu of Columbus Day, on the second Monday in October. Share My Lesson has curated this collection of free lessons, activities, and videos to assist educators in teaching about the ways of life of indigenous peoples from around the world in order to foster understanding of our shared sense of humanity.
The Declaration of Independence called George III a tyrant. And in 1848, a group of women’s rights activists mirrored our founding document to accuse men of the same crime. Today in our final revisit to the Declaration of Independence, we explore the Declaration of Sentiments, the document at the heart of the women’s suffrage movement.
Our guest is Laura Free, host of the podcast Amended and professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.
Distance learning activities become civics for civic engagement when federal judges bring the rule of law, separation of powers, judicial independence, and jury service into students’ daily life. Student voice is incorporated into every activity. Teachers and students can explore the pillars of literacy: rule of law, separation of powers, and judicial independence. With the guidance of federal judges and attorney volunteers in virtual court hearings, students learn and practice civil discourse skills as the foundation of effective dispute resolution in the law and in life.