Discover fun 4th of July facts and writing prompts.
The 4th of July is a beloved American holiday for people of all ages—and you don’t have to look far to see why! Between fireworks, togetherness, and all the tasty food, this special summer holiday is truly one of the highlights of the season.
To get your students ready for Independence Day this year, share these fun 4th of July facts with your kids—and then, use our all-new Fourth of July writing ideas to help them reflect on what they’ve learned!
(Article content updated July 2020)
Five Fun 4th of July Facts to Educate and Entertain
4th of July Fact #1 — Fireworks are a long-standing tradition.
The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1777—and it actually looked quite a bit like celebrations of today. According to The Virginia Gazette, a newspaper of the day:
“The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated. Everything was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the fact of joy and gladness was universal.”
Nearly 250 years later, Independence Day festivities look very much the same!
Fact #2 — Americans spend more than six billion dollars on Fourth of July food.
Food is a huge part of the Fourth of July—and people eat approximately 150 million hot dogs across the country on this day alone. What a tasty way to celebrate our freedom!
4th of July Fact #3 —The Liberty Bell was rung on the first Fourth of July—and is still used in celebrations today.
Located in Philadelphia, this historic landmark is a reminder of independence and freedom to Americans everywhere. It was rung on the first Fourth of July (almost 60 years before it got its iconic crack). Today, the bell is tapped 13 times each Independence Day in honor of the 13 original colonies.
Fact #4 — Paul Revere and Samuel Adams buried a time capsule on the 20th anniversary of the 4th of July in 1795.
The time capsule was finally opened almost 220 years later in 2014. It included newspapers from the day, a silver plate, old coins, and a copper medal that featured an engraved picture of President George Washington.
Fact #5– A Supreme Court Justice once tried to create a rival holiday to the Fourth of July.
“Americanization Day” was created by future Justice Louis Brandeis in 1915. The holiday was intended to celebrate immigrants and America’s melting pot culture at a time when many people wanted to restrict immigration. However, the holiday sadly never took off.
Did any of these fun 4th of July facts make your students see the country in a new light? Now, ask kids to reflect on what they’ve learned—and on what it means to be an American—with the all-new Fourth of July writing ideas below!
15 Festive Fourth of July Writing Ideas for Kids of All Ages
- What would it have been like to celebrate the brand new nation on the very first 4th of July? Write a first-person narrative as if you were there that describes the sights, sounds, and mood of the day.
- Do you believe freedom truly exists in America? Why or why not?
- Which type of food do you most look forward to eating on the Fourth of July? Which foods are an important part of your family’s traditions?
- There are many myths and legends about how the Liberty Bell got its famed crack. Write a short fictional story in which you make up your own funny reason for the damage to this iconic American landmark.
- If you were going to bury a time capsule today to reflect the state of our nation, what would you put in it? When would you want it to be opened—and how do you think people would react to its contents? Be sure to explain why you would include each of the items you chose!
- How do you think American attitudes differ today from what they were like in 1776? How are they similar?
- What are some of the most important lessons we can learn from the Founding Fathers? Why are these lessons important to remember today?
- What does it mean to be an American? Do you consider yourself patriotic? Why or why not?
- Imagine that you were alive during the Revolutionary War. What would you have wanted most as the new nation was born? What dreams would you have had for your future? Explain what your outlook might have been like.
- What would our country be like today if we celebrated Americanization Day rather than Independence Day? How might our country’s values have changed?
- Why are immigrants an important part of America’s cultural identity? Do you feel immigrants receive the respect or treatment they deserve? Why or why not?
- Which Founding Father (or other historic American) do you respect the most? Why?
- Why is it significant that we see our 50 states as one nation—the “United States” of America? Do you believe this is an important way to view our country? Why or why not?
- What does Independence Day mean to you? Which part of the holiday do you find to be the most meaningful?
- Imagine that you are celebrating the Fourth of July 20 years from now as an adult. What do you hope to see in America then? What do you want the country to be like? Describe your ideas in detail.
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The following content was first published on this page of my blog on July 3, 2017
Fourth of July Writing Ideas— The Fourth of July is a beloved American holiday – a time when families indulge in fireworks, food, and friendship. As the summer holiday approaches, give children the chance to think about their favorite Fourth of July activities and the significance behind the holiday.
Here are My Top 5 Favorite Writing Ideas for the Fourth of July
- If I could celebrate the Fourth of July from anywhere in America, I would go to…
- What are your favorite kind of fireworks?
- My family’s Fourth of July traditions…
- The best thing about the Fourth of July…
- What does independence mean to you?
Though a concept like patriotism may initially be a lofty idea to kids, journaling helps them access it from a new direction. Writing on the subject encourages children to understand it in their own ways.
Here’s wishing everyone a very happy and safe Independence Day!
Until next time, write on…