Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Statue of Liberty Dedication Day

On October 28, 1886, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi's famous sculpture, the statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, on Bedloe's Island at New York Harbor was dedicated. Groundbreaking for the structure was in April 1883. A sonnet by Emma Lazarus, inside the pedestal of the statue, contains the words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

Still today, many of the children attending public schools here in the United States come from families of parents who were immigrants or are immigrants themselves. Let's take a moment today to share a bit of literature to honor these children and the lives they are living, thanks to the freedoms found within the United States!

Stevens, Carla.
Lily and Miss Liberty.
Scholastic, Inc.
Guided Reading Level: N

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

A little girl makes crowns and sells them to help raise money for the pedestal needed for mounting France's gift of the Statue of Liberty to this country.

This book really goes to great detail to show the level of importance that the Statue of Liberty was and still is to immigrant families across the United States. While Lily's family doesn't quite feel the importance of sharing their money, they do allow Lily to set to work earning money that can be added to the funds to raise the pedestal. It's nice to see a child working for a good cause and this will enable children to see that they too, can make a difference!

Lesson Plans/Learning Activities:
Bunting, Eve.
A Picnic in October.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Guided Reading Level: P

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

A boy finally comes to understand why his grandmother insists that the family come to Ellis Island each year to celebrate Lady Liberty's birthday.

This book is perfect to share with children this week, as the picnic celebrating Lady Liberty's birth takes place in this story during this same day! This book allows children to see the importance that Lady Liberty means to immigrants, while they themselves might not have firsthand experience is just how important she is to those who have traveled here from other countries. This book would also fit well into a unit centering on the topic of immigration!

Lewison, Wendy Cheyette.
L is for Liberty.
Penguin Group (USA).

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

For more than a century, the Statue of Liberty has stood proudly in New York Harbor, welcoming people from near and far. Perfect for reading together with a young child, L Is for Liberty uses simple language and bold illustrations to celebrate the statue, her history, and the freedom she stands for.

I like this book because it can be used throughout numerous grade levels with different activities catering to the abilities of students.
  • For the youngest of readers (PreK-1), this book will introduce the Statue of Liberty and will act as a starting point for introducing other symbols of American importance.
  • With middle-grade readers (2-4), this book could be the introduction to a writing project in which students reflect on the freedoms they have, as the Statue of Liberty is a symbols of freedom and new-life for immigrants who have and will be entering the USA for years to come. Have children create an alphabet book titled "L is for Liberty: The Liberties of ______" (their name). Each letter of the alphabet should reflect some activity they are free to participate in because of living in a liberated (free) country. For example,
    R is for Reading.
    Books aplenty!
    Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery.
    I am free to read all genres because I live in the United States of America!
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to