Activities That Bring History to Life

4th of July

The 4th of July is the day when the people of the United States come together to celebrate their independence. At home, families usually have a barbeque and set off fireworks. During the school year, history and civics teachers endeavor to teach their students about the foundation of the country. Here are some activities teachers can do with their students to help make learning about history and civics fun.

Play Games:
Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship. To educate your students about their rights, try game-based learning. The free resource, iCivics, offers many games for classroom use. This site has games that involve running for president, passing laws, and constitutional law. It is designed to make learning about civics fun.

Look at Historical Documents:
The Library of Congress is an online resource that allows teachers and students to look at historic documents. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are among them. Photos are also available, as well as lesson plans for teachers. Students can use this site for research and to gain more of an understanding about various events throughout history.

Living Museum Project:
Make history come to life for your students with a living museum project. For this project, students choose an important historical figure to portray. Then they dress up in costume and present information on that figure. To learn more about the Living Museum Project, click here.

Explore Historical Sites:
Historical events will seem more real to students who are able to actually see some of the places where these events took place. But not everyone lives in an area where that is possible. Try taking your students on a virtual field trip using free resources like HistoryPin or Google Maps to immerse your students in the history.

What are some of your favorite 4th of July activities? How do you get your students interested in history? Let us know in the comments below!

Carolina Fransen is the EdTech Apps and Tools Editor at She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms. If you have an app, tool, website, or service that you think we should know about, please send your information or tip to