United States Symbols of Liberty

America has many symbols that represent her ideas, independence, and freedom.  

Sample some of the following activities to learn more about symbols of liberty.


Places To Go    People To See    Things To Do    Teacher Resources    Bibliography

Places To Go

The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about symbols of liberty.

Boston Freedom Trail
Boston may be best known for the Boston Tea party during the revolutionary war. However, it was also the home to the ride of Paul Revere and other historic events leading up to the birth of a new nation.
Fort McHenry
You may have heard about the Star Spangled Banner. Have you heard about why it was written and where? Find the answers by learning about this historic place in Baltimore, Maryland.
Independence Hall
Visit the place where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. Independence Hall was even used by congress until the capitol building was finished in Washington, D.C.
Lexington, MA
This city is known as the start of the revolution. Find out why by reading about this historic city and "the shot heard round the world."
Statue of Liberty
Virtually visit the Statue of Liberty, one of the most recognizable statues in the word and a worldwide symbol of freedom. The statue is 152 feet high and weighs 225 tons.
The United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is a historic and important legislative building. It actually was set on fire during a war. Which one was it? Also, find out which side of the building houses the Senate and which side is home to the House of Representatives.
US History: Liberty Bell
Travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and see the Liberty Bell. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about its famous crack. 
Washington D.C. Monuments
Many monuments have been built to help remember those who have served our county. Several have been built to remember those who died during different Wars. Each monument is stirring and gives time to think about what we have in America.
Washington D.C. National Mall
Check out all the different monuments and buildings in the Washington D.C. area. You can read about the history surrounding each one and find out why each one had people who didn't want them built.
The White House
Have you ever wanted to visit the White House? Well, here is your chance. With videos of several famous rooms as well as 360 degree pictures you can get a first hand look at the beauty of this historic building. For information about visiting The White House in person, please see the National Park Service.

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People To See

American Bald Eagle
Find out about the endangered history of this national symbol. Bald eagle populations were devastated in the 1950s and 60s from use of the pesticide DDT. (Did you know that Ben Franklin felt that the turkey should be our national symbol?)
Betsy Ross and the American Flag
Spend some time with Betsy Ross and find out if she really sewed the first U.S. flag.
Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus wrote the poem "The New Colossus" which is inscribed on a plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty. Find out more about Emma Lazarus. Her famous poem was not added to the Statue of Liberty until 1901 which was after Emma's death.
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi
Meet Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. He began constructing the statue in 1875 and finished in 1884. His mother, Charlotte, may have been the model for the Statue of Liberty. The statue was shipped in 350 individual boxes and pieces on the French frigate Isere in 1885.
Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe was the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She wrote it in November of 1861 after watching Union troops going off to battle. It was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in February of 1862. Julia Ward Howe was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The Pledge of Allegiance
Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. It was originally published in the September 8, 1892, issue of The Youth's Companion magazine in Boston. For many years, the author of the pledge was highly disputed. Many felt that James B. Upham, another member of the magazine staff had written it.
Red Skelton's Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance
Meet Red Skelton. He was a radio and TV comedian of the 1950s and 60s. Read his commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance.
Uncle Sam
Meet Uncle Sam and find out who he is and how he came to be one of our nation's symbols. It's possible that Uncle Sam was a man named Samuel Wilson.

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Things To Do

The Democratic Donkey
Learn how the donkey became the symbol of the Democratic party. It has to do with Andrew Jackson and Thomas Nast. Have students research how the elephant became the symbol of the Republican party. 
Flag Etiquette
Find out if it's okay to fly the flag at night.
The Flag of the United States
Learn about historic and current flags of America.
Flag Trivia
Try your luck at flag trivia. What is a person who studies flags called?
Liberty Bell Center
Learn all about this famous bell. It is about 70% copper and it weighs 2080 pounds. In 1996, there was a Liberty Bell hoax associated with a fast food chain. Did you realize that every state has an official replica of the Liberty Bell? Find out where Utah's replica is located.
Check out this live, web cam photo of the Statue of Liberty. This web cam is located on the 27th floor of an office building about two miles from Liberty Island. The bridge in the distance is the Bayonne Bridge.
Library of Congress - John Bull and Uncle Sam
Learn about the British character, John Bull and compare him to our Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam's origins go back to the War of 1812!
Old Glory
Discover how the U.S. flag got the nickname of Old Glory.
The Pledge of Allegiance
Find out how to say the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish, French, Dutch, and Hindi.
The Star-Spangled Banner
See actual images of the REAL star-spangled banner--the one that waved over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the song.
Statue of Liberty Photo Tour
Look at unique perspectives of this famous statue. See the original torch which was replaced during the statue's major renovation in the 1980s and images of the spiral staircase which visitors can climb to the top.

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Teacher Resources

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  • Curlee, Lynn. Liberty. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2000.
  • Doherty, Craig A. The Statue of Liberty. Woodbridge, Conn.: Blackbirch Press, 1997.
  • Fisher, Leonard Everett. Stars & Stripes: Our National Flag. New York: Holiday House, c1993.
  • Herman, John. Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, c1998.
  • Kent, Deborah. The Star-Spangled Banner. Chicago: Childrens Press, c1995.
  • Penner, Lucille Recht. The Statue of Liberty. New York: Random House, c1996.
  • Quiri, Patricia Ryon. The American Flag. New York: Children's Press, c1998.
  • Quiri, Patricia Ryon. The National Anthem. New York: Children's Press, c1998.
  • Sakurai, Gail. The Liberty Bell. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1996.
  • Sorensen, Lynda. The American Eagle. Vero Beach, FL.: Rourke Book Co., c1994.
  • Sorensen, Lynda. The American Flag. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Book Co., c1994.
  • Stone, Tanya Lee. America's Top Ten National Monuments. Woodbridge, Conn.: Blackbirch Press, c1998.
  • Swanson, June. I Pledge Allegiance. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, c1990.
  • Wilson, Jon. The American Eagle: The Symbol of America. Chanhassen, MN: Child's World, c1999.
  • Wilson, Jon. The Liberty Bell: The Sounds of Freedom. Chanhassen, MN: Child's World, c1999.