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Raise the Torch! A Statue of Liberty Preschool Lesson Plan

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 7/12/2012

You can introduce your students to Lady Liberty when you have a patriotic theme, on a national holiday or especially on the birthday of this famous landmark, October 28th. Here is a Statue of Liberty preschool lesson plan to help you.

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    Learning Objectives

    1. Understand that there are symbols that represent our country: Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell and so on.

    2. Demonstrate active listening by answering and asking questions about material presented orally.

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    Tell Me About This Lady

    90px-Statue-de-la-liberte-new-york Lady Liberty facts:

    Why?

    France helped the United States fight in a war.

    France wanted to stay friends.

    France gave the United States a gift to celebrate winning the war.

    Where?

    The statue was placed on its own small island in New York City Harbor.

    Visitors take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the museum and climb 354 steps to the crown.

    How?

    The statue was so big that it was made in pieces.

    It was made of steel with copper on the outside.

    The statue has turned green from rain on the copper.

    A ship carried the pieces across the ocean to America.

    Workers put the pieces together like a puzzle.

    What?

    The parts have special meanings.

    The broken chain at the foot of the statue means they are free.

    The torch is sending a message to the world.

    The crown has seven points for the seven seas and seven continents of the world.

    The tablet has the Declaration of Independence.

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    Suggested Read Alouds

    A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting tells the story of an Italian-American family who comes to celebrate the birthday of Lady Liberty every October 28th. The grandmother is particularly enthusiastic every year, which always embarrasses her grandson. This year however the grandson meets someone who helps him understand the importance of this symbol of freedom.

    The Statue of Liberty by Dana Meachen Rau is a nonfiction book that provides simple facts about the famous landmark. The book is divided into nine chapters so you can choose what information would be appropriate for your lesson.

    Lady Liberty- A Biography by Doreen Rappaport is useful for its great illustrations and statue statistics. There is even a foldout picture of the statue, which is impressive. The text of the book is not age appropriate for this age student.

    L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison has wonderful multi-cultural illustrations and good for younger preschool students.

    Statue of Liberty (Step 2 Reader) by Lucille Recht Penner has interesting facts and new photos of the making of Lady Liberty.

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    Lesson: Day 1

    It is best to do this lesson in two parts with young students. Read a non-fiction book the first day. Use a globe to show the route the pieces took from France to New York Harbor. In your discussion, try to include the facts listed above.

    To make the discussion more relevant use some of the students to demonstrate the size of certain parts of the statue. Based on a pediatric growth chart the average five-year-old is about 3 ½ feet tall. Choose the students and instruct them to lay on the floor with one child’s feet almost touching the other child’s head to form a long line. Remind them of safety rules such as no kicking.

    Here are a few to try:

    Statue’s finger = 8’ = 2 students with above average height

    Length of hand = 16’5" = 5 students

    Length of torch= 21’= 6 students

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    Lesson: Day 2

    Begin the lesson by doing the sequencing activity below to review yesterday’s lesson.

    Sequence facts:

    Write these sentences on sentence strips and then mix them up. Read each one as you place it in a sentence strip holder. After reading them all, ask your students which one happened first, second and so on. The student who answers correctly holds the sentence strip and stands in a line going from left to right across in front of the room. When the strips are in order, read them one more time correctly.

    France helped Americans fight a war.

    France built a statue in pieces.

    A big ship carried the pieces across the ocean to New York.

    Workers put the pieces together.

    The statue has a birthday October 28th.

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    Culmination

    Now read A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting. Discuss why the grandmother thinks the Statue of Liberty is so important to her. It represents freedom. She now has freedom to choose her own religion, freedom to believe what she wants, freedom to vote. Knowing how much better her life is in America she appreciates the freedom.

    As an example tell your students they can only play with certain toys and nothing else or they can only use one crayon to color a picture. How do they feel with these restrictions?

    Birthday Party

    Host a birthday party for your Statue of Liberty preschool lesson plan. Include an art project. Then eat cupcakes and sing Happy Birthday.

References

  • Bunting, Eve. A Picnic in October. Sandpiper Books, 2004.

    Rau, Dana Meachen. The Statue of Liberty. Compass Point Books, 2002.

    Rappaport, Doreen. Lady Liberty-A Biography.Candlewick Press, 2008.

    Penner, Lucille Recht. Statue of Liberty (Step 2 Reader). Random House, 1995.

    Lewison, Wendy Cheyette. L is for Liberty (Reading Rainbow Books). Grosset and Dunlap, 2003.

    Image Source: featherboa/wikimedia under CC 2.0 license.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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