In this issue, kids studying the American Independence period will be taken back in time to 1776, the watershed year in which the original 13 colonies became a free country. At the start of this year, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, with “no design to set up an independent nation”, but seven months later, they formally declared their independence from Britain. How did this turnabout happen? Kids will be introduced to the prior events and hostilities that fed the demand for freedom, including the high taxes levied on the colonies after the French and Indian War.
They will also learn about the major newsmakers in the battle for American Independence; for kids who like to write, mention of Phillis Wheatley’s patriotic poems and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and the stirring effect they had on the colonists, will probably have them eager to read the real thing. And once they see the marked-up pages from the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, which is printed here, they will probably be relieved to see that even our biggest heroes, like Thomas Jefferson, needed a little editing. Overall, the struggle for American Independence, for kids, is made approachable through down-to-earth touches like these throughout this issue.