The Fourth of July is right around the corner, so when better to celebrate the founding fathers of the United States of America? The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the rainstorms are (thankfully) short! The school year may be over, but there’s never a bad excuse for more learning!
Take a walk, enjoy the summer air, and learn about the amazing figures who made this nation possible! Start with Thomas Paine and “Common Sense” (Complete-#64, 4-#51), Paul Revere (Complete-#65, 4-#50), Benjamin Franklin (Complete-#69, 4-#47), Samuel Adams (Complete-#70, 4-#48), and work your way to George Washington (Complete-#71, 4-#86)!
The Odd Two Out
“The Founding Fathers” sure is a lofty title, and for good reason! These men were among the key players in the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States!
However, one of our subjects, Thomas Paine, is sometimes excluded from this honor. His controversial writings won him no shortage of enemies, even among Americans (after all, he wrote some of the most vicious criticisms of George Washington!)! Even so, there can be no doubt his prose was key in sparking the Revolution!
Paul Revere was another staunch patriot missing from the list of Founding Fathers! While he was no statesman, Revere assembled an early intelligence network and alarm system to defend the Colonial Militia. From his midnight ride to warn Lexington and Concord to his work with ‘the Mechanics’, Revere brought espionage and intelligence to the American Revolution.
However, his later life was fraught with dishonor. While he wasn’t convicted, he was accused of insubordination and cowardice during the Penobscot Expedition.
What do Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and George Washington have in common with the likes of Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock? They all signed the Declaration of Independence! Of course, they also played important roles in the founding of the United States!
As the first United States President, George Washington needs little introduction. For students curious for more about Washington, start with our Timely Topics post on this founding father for a deep dive!
Samuel Adams was a revolutionary firebrand, and an important propagandist! Calling that fateful shooting of a Boston mob the Boston Massacre, his influence galvanized the revolutionary spirit! Interested in more of Adams’s work? This National Parks Service article has loads of examples, including collaborations with Paul Revere!
Benjamin Franklin may have been little involved in the Revolutionary War, but none could doubt his patriotism. Not only was he a renowned inventor, his popularity in France helped secure French aid in the war and afterwards!
Bring in Some Books!
Take a closer look at our founding fathers with some books for kids! Fortunately, we’re long separated from Great Britain, so there’s no need to worry about a stamp tax!
For kids interested in Paul Revere’s harrowing ride, full of near misses and heroics, try And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (830L) by Jean Fritz for an exciting read. And, for a wider look at the people of the Revolution, try Ben Thompson’s Guts & Glory: The American Revolution (1260L), the fourth in the Guts & Glory series!
Stay tuned for more handy materials for Independence Day (or your Revolutionary War studies) as we move into July, including puzzles, books, and games galore! And, as always, be on the lookout for other timely topics (and more ideas!) in future posts.