Happy July 4th! This holiday inspires me to read books about American history: presidents, symbols, battles, trivia, monuments, houses – there are some great stories!

Tomorrow we’ll wrap up a day of parades, candy, fireworks, barbecues, and swimming with two of my daughter’s favorite books: Looking At Lincoln and So You Want to Be President. She read one in school as part of the Red Clover process and received the other for a Presidents Day gift. Who would have guessed how much more meaningful the Washington, DC monuments would be or how many of the random, funny presidential facts she would retain?

Here are some other ideas for school-age kids borrowed from the creative teachers of Lowell (VT) Graded School, who used their Year of the Book to organize schoolwide patriotism-themed literacy activities:

  • Learn about national symbols and make liberty bells, Uncle Sam hats, Lady Liberty hats and torches, and flags.
  • Make and then race Eagle paper airplanes.
  • Visit your local historical society, museum, veterans memorial, or reenactment. We were in the Antique Boat Museum and found a reference to William Howard Taft (memorable for his girth). Very fun to scavenger hunt for presidential trivia – and it is everywhere!
  • Learn about the National Parks or a local state park. This is a great tie to presidential and local history.
  • Lowell brought Uncle Sam (Steve Myott, of Westfield) from Bread and Puppet.  He walks on stilts dressed as Uncle Sam and has marched in the Washington DC July 4th Parade every year since 1992. This is hard to do at home, but never too early to plan for Halloween.

Thanks Lowell and to all our Year of the Book and Summer Readers sites for sharing their clever ideas!






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