Dates for assembly

1st July 2005 at 01:00
July 4 American Independence Day. The original 13 American states claimed their independence from Britain on this date in 1776.

Outline script for assembly leaders

It's America's birthday - and a national holiday. Most Americans celebrate with a barbeque. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the most popular food, but more and more Americans are having elaborate "'cues", as they call them, with marinated steaks, ribs, chicken and vegetables cooked on an enormous grill in the family backyard or garden. Another popular ingredient is fresh corn on the cob. Americans leave them in their husks, wet them, and just throw them on the grill.

Friends and family are invited round - especially to homes with a backyard pool - but it's not such a big family gathering holiday as the Thanksgiving, in November.

Americans celebrate their national day in other ways. Some will drive out of town for the three-day weekend and the roads will be full of RVs (recreation vehicles, which are often highly sophisticated motor homes), SUVs (sports utility vehicles) pulling boats, and pick-up trucks loaded with camping gear and coolers. Usually the beaches are crowded and any campsites by rivers and lakes are full.

Many small towns have a parade led by a local celebrity or the mayor, featuring a marching band, and people dressed in costumes. The big cities have larger parades and everywhere you can see the American flag. In the evening, people let off fireworks. In the West, in recent years, due to the drought, there have been many restrictions on the private use of fireworks, and people have been encouraged to attend organised fireworks shows. Even so, you can see fireworks exploding in the sky in every direction, just like Guy Fawkes night except with warm weather.

All this is to celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Follow-up

Research key events in the American War of Independence (1775-1783). Full information about Independence Day can be found at www.holidays.netindependence.

Rehearse and present a dramatised reading of Longfellow's widely anthologised poem, "Paul Revere's Ride".

Hold an American-style 'cue for charity.

Britain has no national day. Should it? If so, when?

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now