Declaration of Independence Projects for Kids

by Zora Hughes

    The adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, was a pivotal point in the American fight for independence. Whether your child is learning about it in school, or the Fourth of July is coming up, engage your child in educational projects and activities that can help her gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the Declaration of Independence.

    After learning about the Declaration of Independence, you can challenge your child to write an updated version that would be more suitable for modern times. Have her imagine if the U.S. was still a British colony and wanted to now be independent.
    Challenge older kids to review the previous drafts of the Declaration of Independence. They should also think about the impact of a modern war with the United Kingdom, and possibly their allies, when wording their new version. Perhaps the declaration would include offers to have peaceful talks or negotiations to avoid war.

    Have your child work on craft projects that celebrate the U.S. declaring independence from Great Britain. One idea is to work on American flag crafts, such as making a flag out of craft sticks painted red, white and blue. Another idea is to make paper look old and worn, which your child can use to write her own Declaration of Independence. Aging plain paper includes crumpling it up in a ball, ripping off the edges, soaking it in tea or coffee and blow drying it on both sides.

    Have your child choose one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence to profile, such as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson. The profile should include his background, such as where he was born, how he became a member of the Continental Congress and what became of him after the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted. It should also include a "fun fact" or something unique about that person. Your child can use school text books as well as Internet research to write the profile. You could also have have your child profile one person a day in the week leading up to the 4th of July.

    Challenge an older child to memorize as much of the Declaration of Independence as possible. You can hold a contest with your child and her friends to see who can get the farthest and is the most accurate. You can also pair up the kids so they can memorize the Declaration of Independence in teams, making it a little easier. It could be a fun challenge to have the kids perform as part of your activities on the Fourth of July.

    About the Author

    Zora Hughes is a screenwriter and novelist who has been writing since 2004. She has written news releases, public service announcements and website copy for the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events. She won the S. Randolph Edmonds playwriting award. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

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