Background Knowledge about the Fourth of July and our Country


Why do we celebrate 4th of July? If you ask your children this question you might hear such things as: go on vacations, swimming, go on a picnic, play family games, watch fire works. These are all correct answers because the meaning of the word Celebrate is to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities

Background Knowledge about the Fourth of July and our Country

I believe it is important to teach our children as much about July 4th as we can and not leave this to chance. This is referred to as background knowledge. Background knowledge is an essential component in learning because it helps us to better understand new ideas and experiences.


In elementary school we teach about the holidays, like Valentine and Halloween. It’s not just for fun its to build their background knowledge.concerning our holidays.


Because the 4th of July comes in the summer, we as parents have a huge responsibility to find and read to our children many books to help build background knowledge about our country and the fourth of July.

WHY the 4th of July is important


We celebrate the 4th of July as the birth of American Independence. It was July 4th 1776

when the continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence,


Here is some additional background knowledge. Did you also know?

  • That the Declaration of Independence was mostly written by Thomas Jefferson.

  • That the vote for independence took place on July 2nd.

  • That there are only two countries that celebrate the 4th of July, the United States and the Philippines.

  • We celebrate on the 4th of July to remember when we formally declared our independence from Great Britain,

  • The Philippines also celebrate the 4th of July commemorating that day in 1946 when it ceased to be a U.S. territory and was officially recognized as an Independent Country.


First find and read


First find and read, during your 15 minute a day family read aloud session, good picture books and/or appropriate age chapter books written about the time period when we claimed our independence.


I have a very large library of books for children, but when I started my research for this blog, I was appalled to find that I did not have any books about the 4th and America. So in doing my research I found the following book that I have added to my library. If we want to teach about the fourth of July it is important to have a print rich environment.

  1. O, Say Can You See? America's Symbols, Landmarks, And Important Words by Sheila Keenan

  2. The Liberty Bell by Mary Firestone

  3. The Liberty Bell by Lloyd Douglas

  4. We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow

  5. The Bald Eagle (Rookie Read-About American Symbols) by Lisa M Herrington

  6. L Is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

  7. F Is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

  8. The Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic

  9. America Is.. by Louise Borden

  10. The Bald Eagle by Norman Pearl

I found the author, Jean Fritz, to be a very prolific and interesting writer of books about our country.

  1. Alexander Hamilton: the Outsider

  2. And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?

  3. George Washington's Breakfast

  4. Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution

  5. What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?

  6. Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?

  7. WHY DON’t YOU GET A HORSE, SAM ADAMS?

  8. Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?

Peter Spier’s illustrations help children visualize both the song and the constitution.

  1. THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

  2. WE THE PEOPLE: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES


Here are some additional books and there are probably many more picture books that you can use for Read Aloud about our country.

  1. THE FOURTH OF JULY STORY by Alice Dalgliesh

  2. A MORE PERFECT UNION: THE STORY OF OUR CONSTITUTION by Betsy & Giulio Maestro

  3. Who Was Betsy Ross? By James Buckley Jr.

  4. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AMERICAN by Rana Dorio


Building a good strong foundation about our country and the 4th of July.

Our country is going through some tough times right now and it is imperative that we help our children gain a strong knowledge of the importance of our independence, the history of our country and to help them to become more patriotic and to understand their responsibility toward our great America. I would encourage you to take at least the whole month of July to read this books.


Notes about Jylene:

Jylene Morgan is a retired educator. She is passionate about the importance of reading aloud

to children from top quality children’s books. Writing about her life experiences she captivates her audience by telling the tales of her family’s adventures. The first several books are written about funny exchanges that occur when human and wild animal’s lives come together.

To read more about me, my passion for reading aloud to children and my books go to www.jylenemorgan.com. Make sure you join our mailing list so you can be the first to know when Jylene's next book, BUMMER and the Nanny Goat, is available.

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