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Summer is a fun season full of holidays & celebrations. The 4th of July is one of the biggest summer holidays. Check out this great family home evening lesson on the 4th of July! Scripture: Alma 46:12-13 Hymn: My Country of The Star-Spangled Banner Lesson: Nathan's Parade or The History of the 4th of July Treat: Lady Liberty Cupcakes or Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones Activity: Family BBQ or Water Balloon Fight •View entire lesson...

The 4th of July

FHE Scripture

Scripture

Alma 46: 12-13

12- And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—aIn memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

13- And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—

FHE Lesson Hymn

Hymn

My Country–Primary Song #224 or The Star-Spangled Banner Hymn 340

The Star-Spangled Banner

1. Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

2. On the shore, dimly seen thru the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
’Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

3. Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

My Country

1. This is my country! I sing it with pride
Whether it’s desert sand duned and wide,
Mountains with pine trees, land iceberg bound.
It’s here where my home and my loved ones are found.

2. This is my country, and all that I do
Should make it mighty, noble, and true.
I love my country. Long may it be
A land where my people are honest and free.

 

FHE Lesson

Lesson

*For Younger Children* Read “Nathan’s Parade” by Mary Ann Turner (July 1994 Friend) and discuss the importance of the fourth of July. (You may want to use clipart to help tell the story.)

When Nathan and his family moved from a small town to a big city, he noticed that many things were different. For instance, he lived in an apartment building in the city. It was July, and he hadn’t met any other children yet. He’d probably have to wait and make new friends when school started in the fall. Everyone seemed too busy now.

In the small town where Nathan used to live, the flag was a special part of the Fourth of July celebration. His dad ran a flag up the pole in their front yard that morning and took it down that evening. Flags flew from tall poles, porches, and store fronts all up and down the street. There had always been a parade, too, and Nathan usually rode his bike in it. One year he had led the parade, marching and twirling his baton, instead.

But it seemed to him that everyone here in the big city was in a hurry. There were going to be fireworks in a nearby park that night, he knew, and there was a big Fourth of July parade downtown, but no one was doing anything in his neighborhood that he could see.

Nathan looked out the window and watched a city bus stop at the corner and people climb on and off at the same time. He watched the cars rushing by, people hurrying on their way to somewhere. No one seemed to care about the holiday.

As he twisted the stick that held a small flag between his fingers, he asked, “Dad, can one person and a dog be a parade?”

His dad looked thoughtful. “I suppose so.”

Patting his dog, Nathan thought a while and then laughed. “Come on, Scruffy, this is the Fourth of July, and we’re going to have a parade. Just the two of us.”

He asked his mom if she had any ribbon. She found some in her sewing box.

“Red, blue, and white—the perfect colors!” he declared. “Just what I need. Now, Scruffy, you hold still while I tie some streamers on your collar and put on your leash.”

Nathan found his baton, took hold of Scruffy’s leash, and went out the door. The dog looked at Nathan, woofed, then trotted beside him. “I won’t cross the street, Scruffy. That’s not safe in the big city. But we can still have a parade.”

Nathan marched boldly down the sidewalk, holding his flag and Scruffy’s leash in one hand and twirling his baton with the other. When they turned the corner, he looked in the drugstore window and saw lots of flags on display. A boy coming out of the drugstore bumped into him.

“Whoops! Sorry,” the boy said. He laughed when he saw Scruffy with his fancy streamers. “Where’d you get the flag and baton?”

“From the parade I was in last year. Have you ever been in a parade?”

“No.”

“Want to be in mine?”

“I sure do! Let’s go to my house so I can get my drum for it.”

Soon the boys were marching down the street. Nathan waved his flag and twirled his baton. The other boy tramped along behind, beating his drum, and Scruffy pranced along with his streamers fluttering in the breeze.

When they reached the corner, Nathan explained, “I’m not allowed to cross the street.”

They turned the corner. The boy did a rat-a-tat-tat on the drum.

“What’s your name?” Nathan asked.

“Simon. What’s yours?”

Nathan told him, then asked, “Who else can be in our parade?”

Simon said, “We’ll get Jenny—she lives here.” He ran up the steps, rang the bell, and waited. A girl opened the door. “We’re having a parade. If you want to be in it, bring your horn.”

“OK!”

Nathan, Simon, and Jenny marched—left, right, left, right. Nathan waved his flag and twirled his baton, Simon beat his drum, and Jenny blew her horn. Scruffy now led the way, tail held high.

Mr. Swartz, the grocer, stood in the door of his market. “Hey!” he shouted. “What’s all the racket?”

“We’re having a parade.”

“Come in a minute,” the grocer said. “I’ll make you hats.”

Scruffy waited outside while the children went with the grocer to the back of the store, where he made hats from folded white butcher paper. They marched out of the store, wearing their hats, and waved the flag, twirled the baton, beat the drum, and tooted the horn.

The people in the store clapped their hands and smiled.

When the children were on the sidewalk again, they noticed three girls and two boys coming toward them.

“Hey!” Simon called. “Do you want to join our parade?”

“What can we do?” one girl asked. “We don’t have drums or horns or even a flag.”

“You can whistle,” Nathan said.

“All right!” they cheered, and they joined the parade.

Scruffy barked as Nathan turned the corner. He looked back. “Wow!”

Most of the people from the market had joined the parade!

A man in a wheelchair did wheelies.

A young mother carried a baby who clapped its hands.

An older woman with a feather in her hat clapped too.

A man with a soda pop whistled.

A woman with two little girls skipped and waved flags.

A boy on a skateboard zipped back and forth.

“Look,” Nathan shouted, “they’ve all joined the parade! The big city isn’t too busy to have a parade after all. And now I have lots of new friends too!”

*Discuss these questions as a family*
1- What was day was it?
2- What did Nathan do with his dog?
3- What did Simon do in the parade?
4- What did Jenny do in the parade?
5- What did the other boys and girls do in the parade?
6-Did the people enjoy the parade?

Testify of the importance of  the 4th of July and the blessings of Fredom.

*For Teenagers or Adults* Watch the video on the History of the Fourth of July. Discuss the importance of the Fourth of July & the blessing of Freedom. (You may also want to read & discuss Alma 46–the Title of Liberty.)

The Fourth of July (video)

(taken from History.com)

The Title of Liberty can be found in Alma 46.

Testify of the importance of the 4th of July & the blessings of freedom.

FHE Treat

Treat

Lady Liberty Cupcakes or Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones

Lady Liberty Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cake mix
Flat-bottom ice cream cones
Yellow or orange frosting
Sugar wafers
Orange and red decorators’ gel

Instructions:

1- To make a batch, prepare your favorite cake mix according to the package directions and spoon it into flat-bottomed ice-cream cones (a regular-size box of cake mix will make enough for about 24), filling the cones no more than halfway.

2- Set the cones upright in a baking pan, supporting them with crumpled aluminum foil. Bake according to the cake mix directions, following the time recommended for cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then frost each one with yellow or orange frosting.

3- To make each torch’s flame, cut 2 sugar wafers in half at an angle and stick them into the cupcake. Add orange and red frosting or decorators’ gel, and you’ve got one hot — and patriotic — dessert.

Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones

Ingredients:

1 Wafer ice cream cone
White frosting
Blue fruit leather
Red and blue decorating gels
Red and blue M&M’s
Canister of ready-made whipped cream

Instructions:

1- Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plate and return it to the freezer to harden. Meanwhile, construct an Uncle Sam hat out of a wafer ice cream cone.

2- Use frosting to attach a blue band of fruit leather around the bottom of the cone. Squirt vertical stripes of red decorating gel down the sides and blue gel on the top.

3- Using a star tip, squirt on white frosting stars around the blue fruit leather, if desired. TIP: To avoid smudging the Uncle Sam hat design, have your child hold the cone from the inside while decorating it with fruit leather and icing.

4- Remove the ice cream-scoop “head” from the freezer and top with the Uncle Sam hat. Working quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt, add blue M&M’s eyes and a red M&M’s nose. Finally, add a whipped cream beard. To do this, have your child hold the canister upside down while squirting on a long white beard.

5- Serve up your Uncle Sam ice cream cone immediately. Makes 1.

(Recipes taken from Familyfun.go.com)

FHE Game / Activity

Activity

1- Have a family BBQ.

2- Have a water balloon fight.

3- Play Flag Tag Relay.

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About Aleah Ingram

Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a social media manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is addicted to organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.
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