TeachingHistory.com offers some excellent tips for introducing students to the Declaration of Independence. Although framed in a high school context, the suggestions and approaches provided here (such as explore the structure of the document before exploring the content) are great for using with middle school students.
Although recommended for 4th grade only, this UnveilingHistory.com lesson is actually appropriate for middle grades (4-8). Not only does it reinforce close examination and comprehension of text, but it is also multimedia and includes links to additional resources. I love the detail of the plan, as well as the fact that the Declaration of Independence, is used as a primary source of exploration.
This History.com web page dedicated to the 4th of July is an awesome resource that can be used for whole or small group instruction as well as independent student exploration. The text, videos, and related content make this page definitely worth bookmarking and sharing!
This historical cartoon does an amazing job of not only being engaging but also of providing a context for this country's fight for independence. While it is entertaining enough to keep adolescents watching, it is also full of historical information and points for further exploration and discussion.
Larry Ferlazzo has compiled an exhaustive list of websites related to Independence Day. From slideshows to listening exercises, to infographics and more - Ferlazzo has it all here! This blog page is well-worth bookmarking for use year after year.
I love this Infographic created by History.com! Not only does it contain a plethora of interesting facts about Independence Day, but it also is excellent for a variety of lessons in different content areas. For example, percentages can be discussed and reviewed for math, while colonial demographics can be explored for social studies.
This post on TheHomeSchoolMom is a great springboard for a variety of Independence Day activities. I particularly like the resources included on this page because they take Independence Day beyond the flag and fireworks to a deeper understanding of the context surrounding the Declaration of Independence. Each resource includes a brief description and indicates the grade level(s) for which it is appropriate.
This brief animated video by Cool School is an excellent way to introduce a lesson or unit about Independence Day. It provides a great overview to the Declaration of Independence, as well as to the holiday.