Lady Liberty: A Biography

Lady Liberty: A Biography

Doreen Rappaport & Matt Tavares

Text © 2008 Doreen Rapport 

Illustrations © 2008 Matt Tavares

Published by Candlewick Press

Lexile: 760 L

Enclosed with beautiful illustrations, this book contains biographical excerpts from many different points of view revolving around the construction of Lady Liberty.  Between the support of the sculptors, native French people, native New Yorkers, and many more, this book does a fantastic job opening the eyes of its readers and showing that many people were involved in the construction and funding of what is now one of the most well known icons of the United States of America.


Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Suggested Delivery Read aloud 3rd gradeSmall group read 4th, 5th grade.


Click here to visit the National Park Service’s website for the Statue of Liberty. Having students explore this website to learn more about the statue of liberty and compare the government website to the text read would be a great way to either pull the students into the text, or to measure comprehension at the end of the story.  See bellow for a further description.

Dividing the students into groups and allowing them to explore the government website seen here which provides an interactive eTour would be a great way to allow the students to explore the statue of liberty.  This is an excellent resource which will intrigue all students, specifically those who have never been to the statue of liberty.

Click here to visit the teaching guide for this text provided by Candlewick Press for more information and teaching suggestions.

Teaching Suggestions:

  • Vocabulary is an essential part to reading.  One activity which could help students grow their vocabulary alongside of this text can be seen at the link provided here. Giving students the words to work on and encouraging them to use those words in their vocabulary is a great way to translate what is being learned through the text to real life speech.
    •  The following vocabulary words would work well with this pre-teaching activity:
      • Parlor: A sitting room in a private house
      • Independent: Free from another’s control
      • Colossal: Extremely large
      • Liberty: The power to act as one pleases
      • Fled: Ran away from a place/ situation of danger
      • Monument: Something made in memory of a person or event (a building, statue, etc)
  • Comprehension is the goal in reading.  It is important to focus on comprehension before, during, and after reading a story.  The following activities can be done throughout the journey a student takes reading this book in order to support the level of comprehension reached:
    • Before reading the story, a great activity for students to develop schema related to the story would be to pass around a piece of copper, then pass around a piece of oxidized (green) copper.  Before introducing the topic of study, asking students what they think this activity might represent then giving them the knowledge about how the statue of liberty was once shiny and has oxidized over time would be a great way to pull the readers into the activity and develop schema.  The students could also explore the first link seen in the Resources section of the blog and spend time browsing the government’s website on the Statue of Liberty to develop schema.
    • During reading, an activity which will support the student comprehension would be to have the class as a whole visit the second link seen in the Resources section of this post.  Here they will be able to take an Etour of the Statue of Liberty.  Having the students draw connections from what they have read in the book to what they can see on the website would be a great way to check the student comprehension.
    • After reading, having students read the secondary source seen in the lesson plan attached then completing the corresponding activity would be a great way to have students conclude their comprehension of the story and test their ability to infer and make meaning from a primary source.
  • A writing activity which would support the student’s understanding of the text would be to have the students write a letter to any of the contributors who helped make the Statue of Liberty such an important part of the United States of America.  In the letter, students would address what they learned through the text, as well as asking the characters questions that they might have.

The lesson plan seen here combines CT Social Studies Frameworks with CCSS ELA Standards for 5th grade.

Click here to visit Amazon and purchase this book.



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