Lesson Plan

Liberty Bell Time Line

Liberty Bell in the foreground with Independence Hall behind it.
The Liberty Bell, from State House Bell to international symbol of freedom and liberty
NPS photo
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Fifth Grade
History, Social Studies
Expected class sessions to complete:  2 to 3
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Common Core State Standards:
Reading Information Text CCRI 5.2
Speaking and Listening CCSL 5.1
Speaking and Listening CCSL 5.2


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 time line 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 the present.


  • Cardstock/Construction paper
  • Research materials & student notes
  • Art Supplies
  • Rulers
  • Date/event cards - optional
  • Copies of worksheets


Introduction (before the lesson):

  • Review use of symbols and symbolism regarding the Liberty Bell
  • Make enough copies of Worksheet #1 Essential Questions for each student
  • Review how to construct a horizontal bar shaped time line
  • Prior knowledge of researched historical events/dates assigned for the Liberty Bell time line
  • Make enough copies of Worksheet #2 Historical Events for each student

Whole Class Discussion:
1.  Teacher writes the essential questions from Worksheet #1 and guides the students in answering the questions.
2.  Students participate in a class discussion of Worksheet #1 and their researched events on the Liberty Bell for the time line.

Teacher-Directed Instruction:

Teacher advises the students of the expectations for constructing the time line, including the roles of cooperative groups in regard to connecting the continuous time line.  (Students will move into groups of 3 or 4 to create this continuous time line).  Then the teacher explains the details of the whole class "skit" presentation (each student will be responsible to deliver orally with a prop pertaining to ONE of the assigned dates/events).

Independent Student Activity:

Students construct a Liberty Bell time line showing four events that have been previously researched for Worksheet #3 (check for accuracy with provided dates on Worksheet #2).  Then student will design a "prop" for his/her part in whole class "skit" of the Liberty Bell time line.

Another alternative activity for Worksheet #2 is to have the students select what they think are the "top 10" Liberty Bell events and write the reasons for their choices.  Teachers should show how many chose even event with a tally chart so that the class may discuss their responses.  Make a "top 10" chart from the collaboration and post it in the room.

Cooperative work:

Students will  join their assigned cooperative groups to combine and extend the Liberty Bell time line showing proper chronological order.


1.  Each group attaches their time line in the appropriate chronological order so that the time line is representative of the assigned dates.  Each student then presents a short oral presentation or "skit" with their prop about their assigned date.

2.  Students will be assessed on correct chronological placement of the historical events on the time line as well as through a brief individual oral presentation "skit" for assigned date/event.


Use this Time Line Rubric for assessment.


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