The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 3-5
- Grade Level:
- Third Grade-Fifth Grade
- Community, History, Social Studies
- Three to five class sessions
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- National/State Standards:
- Reading Information Text RI 5.1, Speaking and Listening SL 5.1, SL 5.2
- Liberty Bell, Freedom, Symbolism
OverviewStudents will understand that the Liberty Bell has meant many things to many people, and continues to do so today.
- The students will develop an understanding of the history of the Liberty Bell.
- Students will develop an understanding of the history and the symbolism of the Liberty Bell, as well as the many groups that have embraced it.
- Students will understand that the Liberty Bell has meant many things to many people and continues to do so today.
- Class Set of: Our Liberty Bell by Henry Jonas Magaziner
- Pictures of Liberty Bell and the national symbols
- Flip Book http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/flipbook/ Make sections labeled Our Liberty Bell, The Bell is Born, Important News, When Our Country Was Young, Darkness Then Light, The Bell Helped Other Important Causes, Our Liberty Bell Today and Vocabulary.
- Various books on the Liberty Bell
- Chart paper or bulletin board, colored markers
- Sticky Notes
- Sentence strips or 3x5 cards
- Handout #1 Bell Facts K-L Sheet, or any KWL chart
- Modeling clay or plaster
- Handout #2 Symbol Sculptures Worksheet
- Chain of Events Organizer
- Handout #3 Rubric
Before the Lesson:
1. Students will be working in groups of 3-4 to do research/find facts.
2. Teachers may want to consider each student's learning styles and behaviors when assigning the groups.
3. The chart paper or bulletin board will be used to post student research facts.
4. Option: A large outline of the Bell may be drawn on the paper prior to the lesson.
5. Make copies of the Flip Books and the three worksheets and the rubric used in this lesson.
Whole Class Discussion:
1. The teacher will begin the lesson with questions and discussion about what a symbol is, symbols seen in daily life, and eventually lead discussion to our National Symbols. Students should be asked to try to name these national symbols first, and where they may be found.
2. Discussion should include the Statue of Liberty, the American Bald Eagle, US Flag, the Great Seal, and, of course, the Liberty Bell.
3. Information about these symbols can be found at bensguide.gpo.gov/index.html as well as printable pictures of each.
1. The teacher will now give each child a post-it note.
2. The teacher will show the students a picture of the Liberty Bell and instruct the students to write on their paper any words that describe how the picture made them feel.
3. When everyone is done, the feelings will be discussed, and the notes may be posted on the chart paper or bulletin board.
Independent Student Activity:
1. Students will complete side one of the K-L chart, writing any facts they may already know about the Liberty Bell.
2. When charts are complete, the teacher will ask for those facts and post them on the chart paper or bulletin board. (Handout #1)
3. The teacher will then introduce the book Our Liberty Bell to the class, and explain that this will be read in class over the next couple of days.
4. The class will read aloud parts of the book each day, allowing time for vocabulary development, researching facts, and discussion. (Allow 2-4 days)
1. Each day, after the class has completed the read aloud section of the book, student "Research Groups" of 3-4 students will review the material read that day, and find facts/take notes in their Flip Books on the appropriate page.
2. The teacher will allow approx. 15 minutes each day for this activity.
3. As the groups are working the teacher will monitor the groups and participate in their discussions as appropriate.
4. At the end of the 15 minutes the teacher will pull the class together and discuss what the groups wrote. Facts will be discussed and posted on the chart paper, using the sentence strips.
5. This research will continue each day after the read-aloud until the book has been completed.
6. Option: Direct the student research like the game "Scattegories." Ask the students to see if they can find the one fact or the important information that no other group will. This usually motivates them to "dig a little deeper."
Whole Class Discussion:
1. Using the facts posted on the chart paper, the class will discuss how many new facts they have learned about the Liberty Bell.
2. The teacher will direct the discussion to include the essential questions listed at the beginning of this lesson. Although "broken" and no longer used as a bell, the Liberty Bell remains a very important symbol of Liberty to all.
3. Students will now complete the K-L chart, listing new facts they have learned about the Liberty Bell. Option: Students may complete this chart with their "Research Group."
Use this rubric.
This lesson helps students understand the symbolism of the Liberty Bell.
ExtensionsIndependent Student Activity:
- Assessment: (Part 1) The students will tell what the Liberty Bell stands for and explain why. (Part 2) Using modeling clay or plaster, the students will now create a symbolic image to represent themselves, and write about what their image represents and the message it may be communicating. After the image is complete they will write about their symbol, using the Symbol Sculpture worksheet. Students will be reminded of using good writing techniques when completing the worksheet.
- Option: The class may view each others sculptures, and see if they can see the symbolism that was trying to be expressed.
Additional Activity #1:
The teacher will post six events from the book on the board. Students will be instructed to put them in the correct order on the Chain of Events sheet. Extra credit may be given if the student can also include any additional facts about the event. (Handout#3)
Additional Activity #2:
Using the book, have the students fill in Alphaboxes with words having to do with the Liberty Bell. then have them use color pencils and lightly color the events according to what they relate to. Example: early history of the Liberty Bell - red; facts about abolitionists - orange; facts about the Civil Rights Movement - green; facts about suffragists - blue; symbolism of the Liberty Bell today - yellow. (Handout #4)
VocabularySymbol- a drawing or an object that stands for something else
Freedom- being able to go where you want or do what you want
Proclaim- to speak out
Inhabitants- people who live in a certain place
Bellman – someone who rings a bell
Cast – to form into a special shape using a mold
Celebrate – to do something fun on a special occasion
Clapper – the metal tongue inside a bell
Coin – a piece of metal with a picture and a number on it that is used as money
Constitution – the system of laws in a country or state that tells the rights of the people and the powers of the government
Crack – a very thin break in something
Declaration of Independence – a document declaring the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from British rule
Independent – free from the control of other people or another country
Immigrants – people who leave the country of their birth to move to a new country
Rung – having made a clear musical sound
State House – the meeting place for the leaders of Pennsylvania
Toll – the sound of a ringing bell
Yoke – a thick piece of wood from which a bell hangs