4th of July Resources for Literacy Practitioners


When typing “4th of July” into the Google search bar on my computer, the top three suggested words are crafts, recipes, and fireworks. While such suggestions aren’t surprising, these traditions don’t speak to the reasons as to why July 4th is a federal holiday. It’s possible, maybe even probable, the adult learners whom we serve don’t know its importance either- especially when Americans adopt holidays such as Cinco de Mayo (or create others like Cinco de Cuatro) without much knowledge of the holidays’ origins themselves. I hope someone understands that reference.

Independence Day can be used for productive instruction with which to discuss both the fun, cultural traditions as well as the boring, American history aspects of the holiday. There’s just so many topics to choose from! Whether it’s how fireworks are made, writing narratives about how their 4th of July was spent, calculating how much money is spent on the typical barbecue foods, or teaching the history of Independence Day, you can pick from a vast amount of topics to suit your adult learner’s needs and interests.

It’s always a challenge to maintain student engagement, but with some creativity, even the history lessons could keep an adult learner’s attention. I challenge you to be as creative.

Below are some helpful ideas and links for your perusal. Incorporate these Infographics, YouTube videos and lessons, into your sessions, or use them as a jumping-off point to spark other ideas.

INDEPENDENCE DAY – English Vocabulary from JenniferESL on YouTube

Larry Ferlazzo’s additions to July Fourth Resources

Edutopia’s 4th of July Resources

Washington Post’s Top 5 Myths about July 4th

EL Civics Independence Day Lessons

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