October 28 marks the 136th anniversary of the dedication of The Statue of Liberty, a great time for a lesson about Lady Liberty! Originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World” and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886, the statue commemorates the French and American alliance during the American Revolution.
Learn a Little about Lady Liberty
Introduce your students to Lady Liberty with a quick overview and photos from The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Then, have a listen to The Walking Classroom’s Statue of Liberty (5-#65, Complete-#75). Follow up with a fast fact summary and timeline to put things into perspective. Later, test your students’ knowledge with a crossword puzzle or a brief online quiz.
Looking for your students to learn even more? Check out this ready-made lesson plan from the National Park Service, or dive into some age-appropriate books about The Statue of Liberty. You can also explore The Statue of Liberty itself with a virtual tour!
Link to Language Arts
For a supporting language arts activity, have a look at this lesson plan focusing on Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus”. Written in 1883 to raise funds to build a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, twenty years later, the poem was cast onto a bronze plaque mounted inside the pedestal.
Springboard into Social Studies
Use “New Colossus” to segue into a social studies unit on immigration. After all, the “huddled masses” of Lazarus’ poem refers to the large numbers of immigrants arriving in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Many made their way into the country through the port of New York via Ellis Island, which served as an immigration station from 1892 to 1954.
You and your students can explore Ellis Island in a multitude of ways! Take an interactive tour, or examine an array of artifacts from the National Park Service’s Traveling Trunk Program. Other activities abound to enrich your students’ understanding of Ellis Island, including lesson plans!
Mix in Some Math
And connect some math to this podcast too! Have your students put their math skills to practice solving word problems about the Statue of Liberty. Or, make measurement your focus to get a perspective on the monument’s size.