Through My Eyes
Students will learn and apply details about the Statue of Liberty featured on the 1986 Statue of Liberty commemorative half dollar.
Have your students study the 1986 Statue of Liberty half dollar designs. As a class, discuss the details of the coin images. Tell the students that the coin was created in honor of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty to the United States. The obverse shows a side view of the statue and an immigrant ship entering New York harbor as the sun rises. The reverse features a family of immigrants looking at America with the inscription, "United States of America, A Nation of Immigrants." Read the August Coin of the Month to learn more.
As a class, discuss the Statue of Liberty and the term "immigration." Create a K-W-L chart and complete the first two columns. Have small groups of students review the timeline of the Statue of Liberty and research immigration in the 19th century. Invite the students to talk about why the statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" was important to the immigrants and how it "enlightens the world."
Read "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus to the class and discuss its significance. Add new information to the "L" portion of the K-W-L chart.
Remind the students that the Statue of Liberty now has both a TorchCam and a CrownCam, allowing us a special perspective of the statue and the world around her. Using information from the Coin of the Month page, class discussions, and classroom and online resources, have the students write a perspective essay, "Through My Eyes," using the "voice" of the Statue of Liberty. The 5-paragraph essay can be taken in the direction of the students' choosing, offering a historical or modern piece that's fictional or factual.
As an extension, have the students research details of one specific section of the statue such as the pedestal, torch, or crown. Have the students share their findings with the class through a visual presentation style of their choice. Update the K-W-L chart.
Make a Connection
The reverse of the New York quarter also features the Statue of Liberty. Visit the New York quarter page in the Coin News section to learn more.
The reverse of the Presidential $1 Coins features the Statue of Liberty as well. Visit the Presidential $1 Coin information page to learn more.
Enjoy our collection of lesson plans based on the Presidential $1 Coin Program. Download lesson plans for grades K through 12 for free.
Also, visit the October 2000 Coin of the Month, which features the Seated Liberty quarter (1838 to 1891).
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