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:
Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship (2008 version of the civics test)
This web resource provides online videos and activities on the 100 civics questions from the naturalization test and highlights museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the “Establishing Independence” and “Symbols and Holidays” themes for information on Independence Day.
100 Civics Questions and Answers with MP3 Audio (2008 version of the civics test)
This is the official list of civics questions and answers on the naturalization test in MP3 audio format.
Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test (PDF, 8.93 MB) (2008 version of the civics test)
This study booklet will help you study for the civics and English portions of the naturalization interview. It contains the 100 civics questions on the naturalization test including background information as well as the vocabulary from the English portions of the naturalization test.
Civics Practice Test (2008 version of the civics test)
Practice your knowledge of U.S. history and government.
Writing Vocabulary Flash Cards (PDF, 1014.08 KB)
These easy-to-use flash cards contain vocabulary words to help you study for the English writing portion of the naturalization test.
Reading Vocabulary Flash Cards (PDF, 707.59 KB)
These easy-to-use flash cards contain vocabulary words to help you study for the English reading portion of the naturalization test.
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 Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence (Beginning Level), American Symbols and Celebrations (Beginning and Intermediate Levels), Establishing Independence (Intermediate Level).
Famous Americans on the Civics Test (PDF, 1.15 MB)
Downloadable 8.5" x 11" portraits and flash cards of 12 Americans highlighted on the civics test with teaching strategies for supplementing your lessons.
Adaptable Teaching Tools (PDF, 162.84 KB)
Activity ideas to help students practice what they learn in class.
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.
Guide to the Adult Citizenship Education Content Standards and Foundation Skills: A Framework for Developing a Comprehensive Curriculum (PDF, 181.92 KB)
This guide provides content and progress standards for the Pre-Interview, Interview and Test, and Post-Interview phases of the naturalization process. It assists program administrators and teachers in developing a citizenship curriculum and thematic lessons, choosing textbooks, and creating effective learning activities.