So to google I went, I was pretty disappointed. There was a bunch about the Title of Liberty, and what a flag can teach us, there was one or two on the Constitution, but nothing about July 4, 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. PEOPLE, YOU DO REALIZE there is two different documents written in completely different years, with two different purposes, RIGHT?!!
In my search the most useful things I found were two movie clips from the History Channel, first on the Declaration of Independence and second the History of the Fourth of July. But I knew my daughter would gain absolutely nothing about anything from the movies, so I figured I'd make my own lesson. Now I know there are historical ambiguities I'm missing here, but I'm teaching a lesson to a 6 and 3 year old. I know I'm missing some of the finer points on why things happened.
Here are the pictures I used with absolutely no thought for copyright or source.
I started off, with fireworks, because I knew it would impress my 6 year, and asked him why we celebrate the fourth of July?
He said uhh.... because of America. I figured a good answer for a 6 year old.
Then I explained long time ago, we weren't our own country, we were 13 colonies apart of England.
Instead of having our government we have now, we had a king, named King George.
Do you think he was nice? Poor Nan, she she being obsessed with princess smiled and said yes. J aptly observed no, or you wouldn't have asked. I told them, he started to tax them a lot and take their money, and the people living in the 13 Colonies didn't like giving their money to the king.
Right then my husband, pipped in, and asked J, what if every time you played with your Legos you had to give me some, and I would never give them back to do you. Would you like that? He of course said no, then my husband explained that is what the king was doing with their money in taxes.
So some of the people got together to discuss what to do with about this dislike of the King.
And then they wrote about Declaration of Independence.
Which meant they were saying they were free from England and the King, which started the revolutionary war. My husband did a vocabulary lesson, on what Declaration and Independence mean, because vocabulary for children is more his forte, than mine.
We talked about the Redcoats fighting against the Americans, and how the Americans had less men and food, and shouldn't have won, but we did win.
Then on the spur I went into Freedom of Religion and Joseph Smith, and we were done.
Did my three year old get any of that. Probably not, that's ok, my 6 year old now knows there is more purpose to the Fourth of July than just fireworks and parades.
I also showed him this picture of Betsy Ross, and explained the stars and stripes.
And a picture of Yankee Doodle.
Then my husband looked at me funny when I finished the end of the song with, "mind the music and the steps and with the girls be handy." But they are in the lyrics. My daughter really loved that part of the lesson, and we had to sing it a couple of times.
I finished off my lesson with a picture of more fireworks.