Summer is a time to relax for kids. However I still like to add some learning here and there whenever I can. With the 4th of July in the middle of summer break, I find some great patriotic movies for kids about the history of the Independence Day. These are movies kids can enjoy with the family and learn American history at the same time.
Patriotic Movies for Kids to Learn the 4th of July History
Liberty’s Kids : It is a series of animated shows aimed at kids age 7 to 12. It tells the story of American history through the eyes of two young reporters, who experience first-hand the conflicts and events that shaped the nation. Kids not only learn history but also the different perspectives people have at those historical moments. There is an episode of “The First Fourth of July”, but I highly recommend watching several episodes before that for more historical background that leads to 4th of July.
Paul Revere: Midnight Ride : it is an animated movie telling the story of the famous Paul Revere’s ride to warn the American colonials of the British soldiers’ impending arrival prior to the American Revolution. With colorful characters, exiting music, and delightful humors, it will engage kids and capture their attention for sure.
1776 was originally an award winning broadway musical, featuring amazing performances and dialogue based on the letters of the Founding Fathers, and did a wonderful job in catching the character of America at the time of Independence. It is rare treat for both musical and history lovers.
Patrick Henry – Quest for Freedom : the story introduces kids to the founding fathers at the 1775 Virginia Convention. It follows the actions leading to Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. It has many historical facts, but in a light-hearted way. Kids will love the dramatic animation and colorful storytelling. Ideal for kids age 10 to 15.
Johnny Tremain : it is a Disney film based on a novel of the same title. The story follows a fictional young apprentice through his apprenticeship as a silversmith and as a patriot. You will see the events such as the Boston Tea Party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord through the perspective of Johnny Tremain.
Benjamin Franklin : another movie about one of the founding fathers. The total length is about 3 hours, but there are 3 parts. The first part is about his early life and his interest in science. The second part is about his political believes and becoming a Patriot. The third part is about his endeavors in France during the Revolution War, and his effort in bringing in France into the Revolutionary War. It is great for kids at middle school and high school age.
The Patriot : the story happens in 1776 South Carolina. Mel Gibson portraits a French-Indian war veteran who wants to live a quiet life on his farm. But when one of his sons is killed by a British Colonel, he becomes a leader of a makeshift militia. The movie is rated R, mostly because of the bloody and graphic war scenes. But it is a movie for kids to see what life is like during the year when American declared Independence.
Disney’s American Legend : it is not about the history of July 4th. However, it is a good one to watch with kids, especially young children, around the holiday, with stories about John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan.
George Washington : how can you learn the history of Independence without learning about George Washington? This is a good series about the life of George Washington from age 11 to 51, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by James Thomas Flexner.
Liberty! The American Revolution : is a PBS series of dramatic documentary about the birth of the American Republic. It brings the people, events, and ideas of the revolution to life through dramatic reenactments performed by a distinguished cast. Not necessary a casual movie, but a great one to supplement history study.