Lesson Plan

The Liberty Bell as a Symbol for Civil Rights, grades K-5

Black and white photo showing students sitting around the base of the platform supporting the Liberty Bell.
A sit-in at the Liberty Bell, March 1965.

NPS photo

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Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Fifth Grade
Civil Rights Movement, Community, History, Social Studies
One to two class sessions
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Writing W 5.2, Speaking & Listening SL 5.1, SL 5.2
Liberty Bell, Civil Rights, Freedom, Symbolism


Students will use experience and readings to connect the inscription on the Liberty Bell to the Civil Rights Movement.


  • The students will understand the basic principles of civil rights.
  • Students will understand how the inscription on the Liberty Bell supports civil rights.
  • Students will understand the meaning of the Liberty Bell especially its symbolism relating to the Civil Rights Movement.



  • Picture of Liberty Bell with the inscription
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
  • Container of water and cups, or students' own water bottles
  • Picture of Rosa Parks with the Liberty Bell
  • Chart paper and marker
  • Paper to write the class-made inscription
  • Paper outline of the Liberty Bell, large enough to hang the new class-made inscription
  • Sticky notes (optional)
  • Thesaurus




Depending on the ability of your students, the children must respond to the three parts of the rubric either verbally or in writing. A primary teacher may want to do individual interviews. Older grades may expect the children to answer these questions in written form.

Park Connections

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


Liberty : freedom to do many things without getting into trouble

Civil Rights : rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and certain Congressional acts, esp. as applied to an individual or a minority group.

Proclaim: to announce or declare in an official or formal manner

Inhabitants: someone who lives in a place

Thereof: of that or it

unto : to

throughout all the land : included everywhere

unto all the inhabitants thereof : to the people who live there

Last updated: September 11, 2015