What Does July 4th Mean to You?

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Author Info


Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



90-120 minutes

Challenge Question

July 4th brings to mind fireworks, parades, and picnics… but what are we celebrating when we remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence? What does July 4th mean to you?


This activity will help check a student’s understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the ideas it embodies. They will have to form their own thoughts about what the Declaration of Independence means and support their ideas with evidence.


  1. View the video of Colin Powell that can be found here. What does July 4 mean to him? What documents or ideas does he use to make his point?
  2. Now think about what July 4th means to you. Browse the media gallery and collect images, videos, and documents that represent what we are celebrating on July 4th.
  3. Create a digital poster, essay, or video that uses at least three images and one quote to explain what July 4 means to you and what we are celebrating.