In the United States, the Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, an event that took place on July 4, 1776.
If you’re an out-of-school time adopter, take advantage of all the history surrounding this date and have your walks this week focus on one (or several) of the plentiful podcasts relating to revolutionary events or individuals. If you’re a classroom adopter, bookmark this post to inspire a social studies lesson (or unit!) in the coming school year.
Feature a Few Favorite Folks . . .
Both Program 4 and Program 5 have podcasts aplenty which detail the lives of important historical figures. Program 4, in particular, is chock-full of characters on the cusp of the American Revolution.
- Benjamin Franklin (4-#47, Combined-#69)
- Samuel Adams (4-#48, Combined-#70)
- Patrick Henry (4-#49, Combined-#66)
- Paul Revere (4-#50, Combined-#65)
- Crispus Attucks (4-#55, Combined-#61)
- Deborah Sampson (4-#56, Combined-#67)
While Program 5 may lack folks from the Revolutionary War era, it is certainly not lacking in those with truly revolutionary ideas! From scientists to inventors to just plain creative geniuses, there are many folks with accomplishments to explore!
- Louis Braille (5-#15, Combined-#156)
- Thomas Edison (5-#16, Combined-#162)
- Albert Einstein (5-#17, Combined-#163)
- Johannes Gutenberg (5-#23, Combined-#51)
- Galileo Galilei (5-#24, Combined-#165)
- Leonardo DaVinci (5-#25)
. . . or Take a Trip Back in Time!
Prefer historical events over historical people? No problem. The Walking Classroom has the bases covered on that count too! Walk, listen, and learn about significant moments in American history as you celebrate America’s independence!
Program 4’s social studies focus on the colonial era provides several popular podcasts to incorporate in your summer program (or classroom curriculum come fall!).
- The Intolerable Acts (4-#52, Combined-#63)
- The Boston Tea Party (4-#53, Combined-#62)
- The Boston Massacre (4-#54, Combined-#60)
Program 5 presents a timely connection as well. Did you know that one of the most important events in the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, was fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863? This event is recognized in two podcasts, and there are other Civil War-related podcasts too!
- Gettysburg, Part 1 (5-#58, Combined-#87)
- Gettysburg, Part 2 (5-#59, Combined-#88)
- Civil War Generals, Part 1 (5-#55, Combined-#84)
- Civil War Generals, Part 2 (5-#56, Combined-#85)
Picked a Person? Then Pick that Podcast!
Meet an inspiring individual each day or meet them all by dividing your students into small groups and assign a specific podcast to each group. Let them know that they will be the resident experts on their individual, so they should listen extra carefully.
If you prefer incorporating an element of mystery to spice things up a bit, try using the “Door #1, Door #2 . . . Which is the Choice for You?” approach! Rather than them individually selecting, however, choose one group member who makes the selection. Perhaps choose the one with the earliest birthday in the year or the one whose first name comes first alphabetically.
It’s always fun to provide the opportunity for a little extra mental exercise! The groups would then follow the order of the “ranking” method you didn’t use to see which group gets to make its selection first.
Walk, Listen, Learn, and Leave Time to Share!
Once your students have consumed the content auditorily, provide them with time to communicate what they’ve learned, first within their small groups and then for the larger group.
Have them work in their small groups to create a list of five to seven important facts about their person or event. Be sure to provide them with paper and a writing implement! Then have them plan how they will communicate that information to everyone else. After that, it’s time to share!
It’s always helpful to allow time for a summary discussion after individual groups have shared. Pull it all together by asking what the historical individuals have in common. Go beyond the obvious and incorporate character traits and/or connections to present-day individuals or events. Kids are naturally inquisitive and enjoy digging deeper. Take advantage of that!
Musically Minded? We’ve Got You Covered Too!
Finally, who can resist a sing-along? If patriotic songs pique your (or your students’) curiosity, you can learn about their history with these perfect podcasts!
- “Yankee Doodle” (4-#57, Combined-#68)
- “The Star-Spangled Banner” (5-#64, Combined-#74)
Maybe, when you’re done, singing a patriotic song or two might just add to the fun!
Looking for More?
There are loads of resources and many ideas for activities to incorporate as you celebrate Independence Day! Learn about other timely topics and be on the lookout for more thematic ideas in future posts.