When I wrote Read Aloud Plays: Symbols of America for Scholastic back in 2002, it was supposed to be a collection of plays teaching about the history of "patriotic" symbols and holidays. Even though school isn't in session in July for most of us, I included a play celebrating Independence Day.
This fun, fast-paced play follows a couple of kids bouncing from one July 4th event to another, from pie-eating contests and baseball games to three-legged races and fireworks. Along the way they learn a bit about American culture and what exactly we're celebrating at these Independence Day picnics and parades.
Though current events have caused many of us to view some of our American heroes and patriotic symbols with more scrutiny, this play sticks to an innocent interpretation, but it is quite capable of serving as a lead-in for more serious discussions. Download it for use next June as one of those end-of-the-year activities, or if you are currently in session, even remotely, have your kids give it a whirl this month. It includes parts for 11 students, comes with a comprehension activity, and includes reproduction and performance rights.