Getting Fired Up for the Fourth of July!

If you find yourself teaching in the month of July, you may wish to highlight the celebration of U.S. Independence Day. Here are some ideas to consider.

1. Write an acrostic poem about freedom. Templates like this one are available online. You can start with a model based on another word, or you can show an actual submission. Click here. Decide if you’ll let students write freely or if you’ll challenge them to start each line with a particular part of speech: all nouns, verb, or adjectives.

2. Write a haiku about liberty or patriotism. Some students may be up to the 5-7-5 challenge of writing a haiku. Check out these poems by the Poet Patriot.

3. Write a short response to a question based on the film Independence Day. One of the most memorable scenes from this 1996 film is the U.S. President’s speech before the battle against the aliens. Discussion question: What would you want the world leaders to do if faced with an alien threat? Do you think our leaders would work together?

4. Plan the ideal holiday itinerary. If you’re in the U.S., students can search for holiday-related events in your local area and promote interesting ones to the class. If you’re outside of the States, assign major U.S. cities to small groups and have them identify 2-3 events being held on or around July 4 in the given city.

5. Learn about firework safety. Search on YouTube for an official video on firework safety, such as this one by the National Council on Fireworks Safety.  You can create your own video-base quiz with an app like TinyTap or EDpuzzle. You can also ask students to view a video before a lesson and then recall important safety tips together. Focus on the grammar used for tips and warnings (e.g., imperatives, modals, and conditionals).

6. Study idioms about red, white, and blue. Watch my 2015 vocabulary lesson on YT to learn expressions like feeling blue and seeing red. Students can review with my interactive quiz.

7. Compare Independence Day celebrations around the world. In small groups, challenge students to gather and present information. Which countries around the world have an Independence Day? When are these holidays celebrated? Who are the people celebrating independence from?

8. Learn a recipe for a holiday treat. Try it at home and share a photo with classmates. There are some cute and clever kitchen ideas on YouTube. Here are some easy recipes to try. What else can you do? Cooking videos nicely contextualize grammar structures like quantifiers. You can have students listen for specific examples.

See additional ideas in a previous post from 2015.

Photo credit: Fireworks, Rocket, New Year’s Day by Geralt. Retrieved from the Public Domain at

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