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The Statue of Liberty

[Detail] Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, Manhattan, New York, NY

Overview  | Preparation | Procedure | Evaluation

Lesson Overview

This lesson invites students to search and sift through rare print documents, early motion pictures, photographs, and recorded sounds from The Library of Congress. Students experience the depth and breadth of the digital resources of the Library, tell the story of a decade, and help define the American Dream.


Students will:

  • analyze, interpret, and conduct research with digitized primary source documents
  • interpret 19th and 20th century social life in the United States using digitized documents from the Library of Congress
  • define, present and defend their ideas about what the American Dream has been, through the decades
  • relate what they have uncovered from inquiry and research to their own American Dream


Time Required

  • Two to three weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 6-8
  • 9-12


  • Culture & Folklife
  • Immigration & Ethnic Heritage


  • Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945
  • Postwar United States, 1945-present


Kathleen Ferenz and Leni Donlan, American Memory Fellows, 1997