Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day from a 5th Grade Teacher

One of my favorite things to teach is U.S. history, particularly the events that surrounded the signing of the Declaration of Independence. So get ready for some learnin' your #2 pencil handy?

*In June 1776, Congress selected a committee including John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to draft a declaration of independence. The committee then chose Thomas Jefferson to write the document.

*On June 11, 1776 Thomas Jefferson began writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. He finished 17 days later on June 28.

*The first part of the document explains the reasons behind the break with England. The last part is a list of grievances and complaints against King George III.

*Even though the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4, most delegates didn't sign until August 2.

*56 men signed the Declaration. The youngest was 26; the oldest (Ben Franklin) was 70.

*2 future presidents signed (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) as well as 3 future vice presidents.

*Other signers included farmers, lawyers, merchants, and physicians.

*My IRL BFF Deb's great, great, great, great grandfather signed the document. (Did I get those greats right, Deb?)

You've been a great class. Now go grill some hot dogs, eat some potato salad and baked beans and drink some iced tea. And as you watch your fireworks show tonight, take a moment to remember the men and women who have helped to keep this an independent nation for more than 200 years.

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Lane Boyz Mom said...

Thanks for the lesson;) Honestly, the older I get, the more I forget everything I learned in school, sad, huh? LOL

Happy 4th of July to you!! Enjoy yourself and be safe!

Heather said...

Oooooo....I love it! Isn't history so interesting? I had no idea random farmers and doctors signed it.

cupcake said...

Thomas Jefferson fascinates me. The more I know about him, the more he confuses me. A very inscrutable man. But bless him, he wrote a beautiful Declaration.

Have you read Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States? A very different perspective of American history.

Veggie Mom said...

Some of the lessons I learned in 5th grade are still with me today! Have a happy and safe 4th of July! Don't forget to contact me about the Pop'rs contest--You're a Winner!

Z's Mom said...

See,I can understand it all when you lay it out to me like a 5th grader.

Have a great holiday!

Oh, and again, you have the cutest little helper with your cooking.

Debbie said...

It's 7 greats, but close enough! Thanks for mentioning that, I was just about to comment it! LOL
I'm hoping the rain will end so we can grill. says it'll stop by 7 PM. We'll see...
We went to fireworks last night, and I cried during "Proud to be an American" just as I do every year.

AFRo said...

Awesome post. I didn't know about the part where most didn't sign until August 2nd. How did I make it through 12 years of history and 2 years of college history and never learn that!?!

Happy 4th girl!

Kat said...

I *love* history :-) Robert Wuhl did a fabulous special on HBO about all the misinformation we accept as history. Quite fascinating...and very funny.

Here is an article about it:

Wonder if I can get it on netflix? By the would not be appropriate for a class of 5th graders :-)

Karen said...

I love history. As part of our history lessons, at school back in New Zealand, we studied American history.

One of the teachers at the school I volunteer at, bought in a copy of the US citizenship test. Despite not having taken that test, I got all but one question right, coming out top of the 'class' :-)

teachergirl said...

Debbie's 7 greats, but just who was it? I have always been fascinated by Thomas Jefferson, but just now have become enamored of John Adams. Prep is taking Honors American Studies and I have been reading Founding Brothers over her shoulder: some fascinating things I have discovered, I'll tell ya!!!

Rhea said...

Thank you for the lesson, Mrs. John Deere Mom. That was awesome! It's always helpful to be reminded what we are celebrating.

Our founding fathers were total badasses. I mean, they were committing treason and everything, and we totally kicked butt. Gotta love our history (most of it) and be proud of our country.

ann said...

Tricky quiz though...compelling history lesson, and not preachy!

scargosun said...

YEa! My Mom bought me the John Adams series that was on HBO. For some reason I think I should be watching that today. :)

tinabean1988 said...

OK I was soooooo excited I found this REALLY REALLY fun site to play on & create (I'll blog about it later) but I have to share with you now since I think (hope) you will really like it to.
Anyways it's I created a little slide show on my blog from there & it was so much fun check out my slide show & then go have fun!!!

I hope you don't mind!

Sidney said...

I'll agree with Lane Boyz Mom...I'd forgotten so much! Course, it's pretty pathetic when my 8th grader says to me, "Now, what's today all about?" I'm hoping he wasn't serious.....

tinabean1988 said...

I LOVE IT!!!!!!
I so knew you would like it & I'm so happy.
I was on it until 5 this morning.
I can't wait to see your other creations.

John Deere Mom said...

Lane Boyz Mom-It's VERY easy to forget things when you don't need them. All of my knowledge stops at the 5th grade level!

Heather-Very interesting! Hope you had a good 4th!

Cupcake-I haven't read it...I will check it out!

Z's mom...If you like 5th grade level're at the right place!

Veggie mom-I will email you today!

Kat-Thanks for the article link!

Karen-I am sure you know more U.S. history than MANY Americans...sad, but true.

Deb-That song gets me everytime too!

Afro-Because you didn't have me as a teacher...Duh!

Teach-John Morton from Pennsylvania! How cool is that?!

Rhea-Badasses, indeed.

Ann-If I ever get preachy, please slap me.

Scargosun-By mentioning John have made a new best friend. Go visit teachergirl right now.

Tina-Thank you, thank you so much for that site. I LOVE IT! I plan on writing a post about it and sharing some of my creations...if you don't mind!

Sidney-I think 8th grade boys have way too many hormones running amok to focus on history.

Debbie said...

I LOVE the new header (or whatever it's called!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you make it at Can't wait to read of your exploits over there. Off to explore!