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WordGirl's Word of the Week: Independent

Scholastic’s definition dynamo provides an opportunity to discuss independence this 4th of July!
on July 02, 2013
 

Independence is about thinking or acting for oneself and standing up for what you believe in. Who better to help you teach the word ‘independent’ to your child than our very own super-powered, superhero WordGirl! Every day, this ten-year-old stands up to villains to save her city from certain destruction week after week. But kids don’t need to have a cape or adorable sidekick like to Captain Huggy Face to be independent.

As we celebrate the 4th of July, talk with your child about what it means to be independent. Discuss with your child what ways he/she is independent and also show him/her ways you display your independence; for example, what to play with, where to create a block tower, or getting napkins from the drawer to help set the table for dinner. Make this 4th of July an educational holiday with WordGirl’s Word of the Week and try these educational and engaging activities, too.

Activity 1: Celebrate the 4th of July. There is no better time to teach your child about being independent than on Independence Day. Talk about our country’s history and why we celebrate the 4th of July (for a refresher on American history, see our Parent primer). For a fun reading activity, print out a copy of the Declaration of Independence and encourage your child to read it and highlight elements that demonstrate a person’s independence. As a reward for your child’s hard work learning new words, make sure to have a little extra fun on the 4th of July and find a local fireworks show to celebrate the holiday!

Activity 2: Reading about independence. To go along with your fun 4th of July festivities, spend some down time with your child by reading about Independence Day. Find a book perfect for your young book lover or your independent reader, then relax in a nice, quiet place and read. Talk about our founding fathers and what can be learned about their views on independence.

Activity 3: Make independent artwork. If your child enjoys a themed arts and crafts project, encourage your art lover to create a painting or drawing that depicts independence. You can encourage him to create a patriotic piece of art and show all the ways we can be independent in our country. You can also have your child draw different ways she is independent at home, such as the chores she does to earn allowance.

Activity 4: Take a historical fieldtrip. Take advantage of your child’s summer vacation and spend a day out learning about independence. Find a local historical museum and learn about the history of your community. If you’re in the mood for a bigger trip, plan a road trip to your state’s capital. Most state capitals provide tours for visitors, which are great ways to teach your child about being independent while on a fun field trip. Or, try one of these virtual field trips and learn about past presidents online.

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