Independence Day, or July 4, honors the birthday of the United States of America. On this day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted at the Second Continental Congress. Today, Americans celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, fireworks, patriotic songs, and readings of the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence and Independence Day are important in the United States and prospective citizens may see them in several places on the naturalization test. There are six questions on the civics test on these two topics, including, “What did the Declaration of Independence do?” and “When do we celebrate Independence Day?”. Independence Day is also one of the holidays that applicants may be required to read or write as part of the English test.
For Independence Day, we want to highlight some of the resources USCIS offers for learners and teachers that are related to this important day.
USCIS has educational materials to help you learn about the United States and prepare for the naturalization process. Here are several products that refer to Independence Day:
In addition to the products highlighted above, USCIS offers free online tools and materials for educators and volunteers. Some examples include:
Lesson Plans and Activities
Visit this page to find lesson plans, student handouts, and answer keys on a variety of topics, including one on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence (Beginning Level).
Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship
This web resource, described above, also has a “Teachers” section with teacher guides. The guides provide strategies and handouts for each theme. For Independence Day, be sure to visit the teacher guides on “Establishing Independence” and “Symbols and Holidays”.
A Promise of Freedom: An Introduction to U.S. History and Civics for Immigrants
This 12-minute film focuses on the history and founding of our nation and the important rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. Accompanying the video is a discussion booklet that aims to encourage discussion and review of the basic concepts of American democracy outlined in the film.
Citizenship Foundation Skills and Knowledge Clusters
This short booklet highlights the knowledge and skills needed for students to be successful on the naturalization interview and test. Refer to pages 5, 6, and 7 for information about where Independence Day can be included in a citizenship curriculum.
For more information about Independence Day, visit: www.usa.gov/Topics/Independence-Day.shtml