Lesson Plan

Liberty Bell Time Line for Grades 6 - 12

The Liberty Bell sits in the foreground with Independence Hall behind on a snowy day.
The Liberty Bell can be visited throughout the year
NPS photo
Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Twelfth Grade
History, Social Studies
Expected class sessions to complete:  3 to 5
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Common Core State Standards:
Reading History CCRH (6-8).1
Reading History CCRH (6-8).2
Reading History CCRH (6-8).7


Grade 6 - 12 students will create a time line to trace the evolution of the Liberty Bell from its use as the State House bell to an international symbol of freedom and liberty.


  • Students will construct a timeline of historical events regarding the Liberty Bell in proper sequential order.
  • Students will reenact the assigned historical event from the time line.
  • Students will understand how to construct a time line to represent historical facts of the Liberty Bell from 1751 to present.


Historical Events

Following are events to research and put in chronological order:

1751 The people of Pennsylvania Colony ordered a large bell from Great Britain.
1753 The Pass and Stow bell was hung in the State House.
1772 People living near the State House complained to Pennsylvania leaders because they were upset about the frequent ringing of the bell.
1776 The Bell rang to announce the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
1777 Americans removed the Bell before the British entered Philadelphia.
1777 The Bell was hidden in the floor of a church in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
1778 The Bell is returned to the State House.
1781 The Bell rang after the American victory in the Battle of Yorktown.
1830’s The Bell became a symbol for the Abolitionists.
1835 The name “Liberty Bell” was first used.
1846 The Liberty Bell rang to celebrate George Washington’s birthday
1852 The Liberty Bell was moved from the steeple of the State House and put on display inside the building.
1885 The Liberty Bell traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana.
1893 The Liberty Bell traveled to Chicago, Illinois.
1895  The Liberty Bell traveled to Atlanta, Georgia.
1902  The Liberty Bell traveled to Charleston, South Carolina.
1903  The Liberty Bell traveled to Boston, Massachusetts.
1904 The Liberty Bell traveled to St. Louis, Missouri.
1915 The Liberty Bell traveled to San Francisco, California.
1915 Bell rang as part of first coast to coast telephone call.
1926  The 150th birthday of the United States: Bell was heard over the radio.
1976  The Liberty Bell is moved from Independence Hall into the Liberty Bell Pavilion.
2003  The Liberty Bell was moved to its current home in the Liberty Bell Center.


  • Construction paper
  • Art supplies
  • Rulers
  • Research notes and references of historical documentation via text or web searches
  • Essential Questions
  • The Liberty Bell Jeopardy Game Questions
  • Liberty Bell Trivia Final Jeopardy Question
  • The Liberty Bell Jeopardy Game Answer Key


Introduction (Before the Lesson):

  • Review the procedure for constructing a time line including how to choose relevant events.
  • Introduce and explain the grading rubric.
  • Group students in pairs or small groups.
  • Students develop a plan for organizing the time line, picking key events, and illustrations.
  • Students will read, identify, and gather research information on the Liberty Bell, such as major historical events involving dates and person or group.


Whole Class Discussion:

1. Write the "essential questions" on chart paper and distribute copies to students.
2. Discuss possible answers to the essential questions for this lesson.
3. Students will write their answers down and share their answers with the class. Teachers will add information as the lesson progresses.

Teacher-Directed Instruction:

1. Pass out materials to prepare for activity.
2. Instruct the students that each time line must include the following:

a. Title
b. Students will use at least 5 major events in chronological order for each time period: 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2000.
c. Students will list: dates, person or group, and events.
d. At least 5 symbolic illustrations relating to the events must be included.
e. All events must be referenced in APA or MLA format in a bibliography.

3. Students will be instructed to use notes to start time line activity

Note: It is recommended that the teacher begin each class by asking the students to add details to the essential questions listed on the chart paper in the classroom.

Independent Student Activity:

1. Students will use gathered information to construct their time line.
2. Students will present their finished product to the class.

Cooperative Work:

The classroom is divided into groups of 3 or 4 to play the attached Jeopardy style game of Liberty Bell facts.


In accordance with the suggested rubric, the students will be graded on a number of elements for the time line. Additionally, students will complete the essential questions as either a take-home or an in-class essay assignment.


Use this Time Line Rubric for assessment.

Park Connections

 This lesson plan helps students understand the history of this international symbol of liberty.


  • Students can write an essay to compare and contrast the Liberty Bell with other historic symbols.
  • Students can write a persuasive letter to Congress informing them how important the Liberty Bell is as a symbol in America.


Time Line:  a chronological order of events
Symbol:  an object that stands for an idea, a country, or a person
Symbolism:  the representation of one object for another
Sequence:  progression of events
Historical:  dealing with the past