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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Patriotic 4th of July Resources

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Each year, Independence Day brings to mind visions of fireworks, pool parties, and most importantly, the fight for American Independence! We’ve collected a few of our favorite PBS resources that explore this period in American History, that exciting time when our nation was finally gaining independence and ready to kick off the grand experiment for democracy and self-government.

Check out our list of patriotic resources below. Along with hot dogs and apple pies, there’s nothing better to bring to a 4th of July party than a renewed sense of patriotism and dedication to the cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all!

Lesson Plans to Re-Energize Interest in Our Founding Fathers, Presidents and the Fight for Independence 

Lesson Plan: Thomas Paine | Writer & Revolutionary
In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a political pamphlet, Common Sense, which sparked the American fight for independence from England. This lesson plan explores how that document impacted ideas, perspectives, and ultimately, the future of American colonists. 

Worksheet: Creating Good Government in the Colonies | Grades 2-5
Get students in grades 2-5 thinking about the fight for American independence within its historical context.


Video: Independence Day | All About the Holidays | Grades K-4
This short video explores the history of our country's most famous birthday!


Video: George Washington | 60 Second Presidents | Grades 4-12
As Presidents go, none set more precedents than George Washington. From his leadership of the Continental Army to his bold commitment to founding a strong nation, take a quick look back at the legacy of our very first leader. If you think you know everything about GW, think again!

 Resource Collection: Teaching the Constitution | Grades 6-12
The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents in our country’s history –and of the most complex. This comprehensive collection includes resources that can be used to support teaching the fundamentals of our Constitution.


Video: Declaring Freedom… But for Whom? | Grades 5-12
Kick off an important discussion contrasting Thomas Jefferson's assertion in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal" with his personal history as someone who held title to over 200 human beings.


Video: Taxes & Smuggling | Prelude to a Revolution | Grades 9-13+ 
This fun Crash Course video explores the long road to the American Revolution and the many events that led colonists to fight for independence from England.   


Lesson Plan: Benjamin Franklin | Writer, Inventor, and Founding Father | Grades 3-7 
Benjamin Franklin is one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers. This lesson plan will help your students better understand how he used his talent in writing and printing to share his opinions and help shape the future of our country.


Jessica Harjo is the Director of Marketing for PBS Education. 

Jessie Harjo

Jessie Harjo Education Staff

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