Lesson Plan

The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades K-2

Color photo of the Liberty Bell shown from the side, with the brown wooden yoke resting on two steel supports

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Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
State Standards:
Reading Information Text RI 5.1, Speaking and Listening SL 5.1, SL 5.2
Thinking Skills:
Remembering: Recalling or recognizing information ideas, and principles. Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Applying: Apply an abstract idea in a concrete situation to solve a problem or relate it to a prior experience. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts.

Essential Question

What is a symbol?


Students will develop an understanding of the Liberty Bell as a modern symbol of liberty and freedom through class discussions, a read-aloud, and the creation of a class bulletin board.

Students will discuss what a symbol is through various examples, learn how the Liberty Bell is used as a symbol for different people, and develop vocabulary pertaining to the Liberty Bell.


  • Chart paper/markers
  • 2-3 examples of symbols (American flag, sports logo, stop sign, etc.)
  • The Liberty Bell by Lloyd G. Douglas
  • Class set of "Liberty is in our Hands" activity sheet
  • Bulletin board with Liberty Bell outline with the title "Liberty is in our Hands"
  • Liberty Bell coloring page for post-lesson activity



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Coloring Sheet

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Lesson Plan

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Lesson Hook/Preview

Students will discuss what a symbol is through various examples. They will learn how the Liberty Bell is used as a symbol for different people, and develop vocabulary pertaining to the Liberty Bell.


Before the Lesson: 
1. Acquire a copy of "The Liberty Bell" by Lloyd G. Douglas. 
2. Prepare chart paper with the heading "Symbols" and "What they mean…" 
3. Prepare chart paper with essential questions listed and visible throughout the lesson. 
4. Make class set of copies of the "Liberty is in our Hands" activity sheet 
5. Make class set of copies of the "Post Lesson Coloring Page" activity sheet 
6. Write out each vocabulary word and definition on a sentence strip or card stock (see vocabulary section for words and definitions)


Whole Class Discussion:
1. Begin class by gathering students to a rug or discussion location.
2. After students are settled, tell them that you have a few special things to share with them (2 or 3 symbols to discuss).
3. Show students the symbols one at a time and ask them what the object is and what it stands for or means to them. Write their ideas on the chart paper.
4. After discussing all of the objects, tell the students that all of the objects discussed are also called "symbols" which means a drawing or object that stands for something else.
5. Hold up the vocabulary strip for "symbol."
6. Next share a picture or replica of the Liberty Bell.
7. Ask students what the object is and if they think it a symbol. Then, ask what does it stands for or means to them.
8. Again, write students' ideas on the chart paper.

Teacher-Directed Instruction:
1. Introduce the children's literature, The Liberty Bell by Lloyd G. Douglas.
2. Discuss with the class that this is a non-fiction text.
3. Introduce the non-fiction text features, such as cover, title, author, table of contents, etc.
4. Read-aloud the book to students, discussing the pictures and information on each page.

Independent Student Work:
Model directions for the "Liberty is in our Hands" activity with the students at rug (see activity sheet attached) before sending students to their desks to work on coloring, tracing their hand, and writing their name on their cut-out.

Cooperative Work:
Allow students to assist and help each other with the independent activity. Encourage students to talk with their peers about the Liberty Bell as a symbol as well as other symbols that they may think of.


Cooperative/Whole Class:
Tell students that you would like to teach them the words on the Liberty Bell (Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof…Leviticus XXV X.) Have the students repeat the words after you in chunks until they can say the whole verse on their own. Discuss what the verse means and why it is important.

Independent Student Activity:
Have each student show their hand cut-out, tell why the Liberty Bell is special to them, and then help them tape their individual hand to the "Liberty is in our Hands" bulletin board.


Symbol- a drawing or an object that stands for something else
Freedom- being able to go where you want or do what you want
Liberty- freedom
Proclaim- to speak out
Inhabitants- people who live in a certain place

Enrichment Activities

  • Answer the Essential Questions with the class and add their answers to the chart.
  • Review with students that the Liberty Bell is a symbol of freedom, liberty, hope, and so on. Ask students if they think our soldiers overseas would know the Liberty Bell as a symbol. Ask students how they think the soldiers would feel if someone sent them a picture of the Liberty Bell. Tell students that they are going to get the chance to make a soldier very happy by sending them the symbol of the Liberty Bell with their own message on the back. Have students color the Liberty Bell on the attached coloring sheet and help students write a message on the back. Contact your local representative to find out how to send your Liberty Bell symbols to troops overseas.

Related Lessons or Education Materials

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

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Last updated: March 8, 2019