By Julianna Dotten
Few American holidays have held such a unique place in our hearts as Independence Day. Sadly, though, it’s far to easy to let the watermelon, barbecue, and fireworks take over the day. Let’s not forget the stories of God’s amazing hand of providence in the history of our nation!
Here are a few ideas to make this Fourth a meaningful one for your family:
Read the History
Do your children know the history of our independence? This is the perfect opportunity to read up on the founding of our nation. I’ve compiled an extensive list of recommended books in my Fourth of July Unit Study. Here is just a sampling:
- Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ted Rand
- Reb and the Redcoats by Constance Savory
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
- Yankee Doodle by Steven Kellogg
- and of course, the Declaration of Independence!
Enjoy the Art
American painters throughout our history have celebrated our nation by conveying some of the most famous scenes of our history. Here are a few of my favorites:
Writing the Declaration of Independence by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses by Peter F. Rothermel
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull
Listen to the Music
Over the years, classical composers have also sought to honor America’s history with patriotic works. Here are a few fun ones:
- The Star-Spangled Banner by Stravinsky (listen here).
- Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland (listen here).
- Variations on America by Charles Ives (make sure you catch humor of this one! listen here).
And of course, don’t miss the fireworks!
CBS Denver has put together an excellent list of firework shows across Colorado. You can find one near your house here.
How do you help your family remember the meaning of Independence Day? Please share below!