Lesson Plan

The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 9-12, Lesson 2

Black and white photo from 1967 showing a group of picketers in front of Independence Hall with signs calling for civil rights for LGBT people.
Protesters picket in front of Independence Hall in 1967 to call attention to the lack of civil rights for the LGBT community.

Photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen. Courtesy, William Way LGBT Center

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Grade Level:
Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Community, History, Social Studies
Two to three class sessions
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Reading Information Text RI 5.1, RI 5.2, RI 5.3, RI 5.7, Writing W 5.2, W 5.4, Reading History RH (6-8).1, RH (6-8).2, RH (6-8).7
Liberty Bell, Symbolism, LGBT


Students will learn the connection between the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the LGBT Civil Rights Movement.


  • Students will be able to identify and explain the connection between the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the LGBT Civil Rights Movement.
  • Students will examine and analyze photographs and a historical marker to identify and research the key people involved in the movement and exemplify their understanding of how the Liberty Bell has been used as a symbol by various groups, particularly by young activists during the Civil Rights era. 




Use this rubric.

Park Connections

This lesson plan helps students understand the symbolism of the Liberty Bell.


Cooperative Work: Compare and Contrast

  • In groups students will create a compare and contrast of the Women's Suffrage Movement and the current movement of the LGBT group. You may use a T-Chart or a Venn Diagram for this activity.
*Guide the students to make the following connections:
  1. The women in the Suffrage Movement went to the states to earn voting rights at the state level prior to the passing of the 19th Amendment.  Are the LGBT groups proceeding the same way?
  2. The women in the Suffrage Movement supported and helped to influence the Amendments to grant suffrage to African Americans.  Is the LGBT aligned with any other groups?
  3. What is the progress of the LGBT?

Additional Extension:

Whole Class Discussion:
1.  Tell the students that many groups have more than one symbol for liberty. The LGBT has the rainbow flag.
2.  Have students create a flag that exemplifies themselves or their class.