Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 11 - Statue of Liberty


Listen to the story of the Statue of Liberty.

Observe that we can view the Statue of Liberty from all sides.

Know that the Statue of Liberty is sculpture in the round.


Pictures from books (see Suggested Books) or cut from magazines of Statue of Liberty

Slide of Cassatt's In the Garden (#11 in plastic sleeve, from January lessons)

Children's paintings (hanging in room or from folders)

Souvenir Statue of Liberty (optional)

Suggested Books

Maestro, Betsy and & Giulio. The Story of the Statue of Liberty. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1986.

Wonderful illustrations; large format makes it ideal for reading aloud to whole class. Gives good sense of both artistic and engineering tasks involved.

Penner, Lucille Recht. The Statue of Liberty. New York: Random House (A Step 1 Book), 1995.

Text and vocabulary even simpler than Maestro book above, but small format may make it difficult for the whole class to see at one time. Jada Rowland's illustrations plus the text do a wonderful job of making the children understand the relative size of the various parts of the statue.


If you have not been able to find either of the Suggested Books, substitute any one that is available and tells the basic story. After reading the story, ask: What does liberty mean? (freedom) Remind the children that in History/Geography (Lesson 13 - January) they learned about slavery. Review some of the basic ideas from that lesson so the children recall the hardships and lack of freedom under slavery.

Next, ask the children whether slaves have freedom, then, whether slaves have liberty. Help them to understand that if people have liberty, or freedom, they are not slaves. If you have been able to read the Penner book to the children ask some questions about the relative size of the parts of the statue. If not, tell them that as the artist was making the statue, he made each finger longer than a man, each eye as big as a child (demonstrate these relative sizes), and that when the pieces were put together outside (because they were too big to fit inside the artist's studio) that statue stood much taller than any of the tall buildings in the city.

Try to have the children estimate the size of the statue by comparing it with the height of the room, the height of their school, etc. so they really have a felt sense of its enormity. Then ask: Why do you think Frederic Bartholdi made the statue so huge? (because liberty, or freedom, is such an important thing)

Ask: What is the statue of liberty hold in her hand? (torch) What is a torch? (light, fire, brightness) Why do you think she is holding a torch? (makes it brighter, makes people think of light in the darkness, helps people not be afraid, thinks not as scary when they are brightly lit)


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 11 - Statue of Liberty

Say: All the parts of the statue are made out of a kind of metal that is called copper. Why do you think the artist made them of metal? (strong, statue is outdoors in all kinds of weather, rain and snow can't ruin it)

Show the children some more pictures from the books or magazines, so that they can clearly see that a person can view the statue from all sides--that the back is different from the front, as are the sides. Say: This kind of art is called sculpture in the round. Sculpture is another name for statue. Can you guess why this is called sculpture in the round? (We can see all around it--back, front, and sides.)

Show the children the slide of the Cassatt In the Garden. Ask: Do you think this is a statue, or sculpture? Why or why not? (a painting) If the children don't respond with some idea of the difference between a sculpted object and a painting, ask them questions such as: Does this look round or flat? (A painting is flat, even if the painter makes us try to see some things closer than others.) Do you think the painting looks different from the sides or the back?

At this point, show the children a few paintings they have done that are hanging on the walls or have been in a folder. Show them both the front and back, so they can clearly see that a painting has only two dimentions and none of it is visible from the back. Repeat that a painting is a flat surface; then show the pictures of the Statue of Liberty again, and remind them that if they go to see the Statue of Liberty, they can see it from all around.

If you were able to bring a model or souvenir of the Statue of Liberty to class, this would be a good time to pass it around the class so that the children can actually feel its roundness and know what a three-dimensional object feels like as opposed to the paintings they have just observed.

If anyone in the class has actually seen the Statue of Liberty, ask them to describe their experience to the rest of the class. You might ask questions like: What did the back look like? Were you able to feel the roundness of the statue or was it flat when you touched it?


(adapted from two activities in Massey & Darst. Learning to Look (Prentice Hall, 1992)

Have the children work in pairs. One of each pair will move; the other will observe. Have the movers get up and dance or twirl around as you count or sing. After a short time yell, "Freeze!" and tell the movers to stop in whatever position they happen to be in at the moment. Have the observer walk all around the partner; have each observer report to the rest of the class what she or he sees. Then have the observer move the partner's body slowly and gently into the position of the Statue of Liberty, being sure they have the right arm fully extended. When everyone has assumed and held the position for a few minutes, ask whether their arms are tired.

If they say yes, remind them that it is very hard work to maintain liberty and freedom for everybody.

If there is time to switch roles, do so.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 12 - Relief Sculpture


See the difference between relief sculpture and sculpture in the round.

Compare modern and ancient tools for carving relief sculpture.


Pictures of Mount Rushmore from books or cut from magazines

(See also Activity Sheet for History/Geography Lesson 19)

Slide of Triumph of Bacchus, Roman relief statue

Suggested Books

The Art of Sculpture. Scholastic Voyages of Discovery Series. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

The text is too complicated and the layout too busy for reading to kindergartners, but selected images are good to show the children, and one of the pages actually feels like bas relief!

Paine, Roberta M. Looking at Sculpture. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1968.

This book is beautifully organized to talk about specific kinds of sculpture, their definitions, the tools required and working process for each. Illustrations in black and white show a great range of time periods and cultures. Again, the text is not appropriate for reading aloud to kindergartners, but selected parts of it and any of the images can be shared with the children.

Note to the Teacher

The children will be exposed to sculpture again in first grade. At this point, we will simply continue to build on the little bit they learned in the last lesson about sculpture. Since they study Mount Rushmore in History/Geography this month, it is probably best if this art lesson follows the History/Geography one.


Review with the children what they learned about the statue of liberty as you show them pictures of it again. Stress especially the relatively monumental size of the statue (each finger longer than a man, each eye as big as a child, etc.) and the fact that it is sculpture that you can see from all sides--from all around. That is why we call it sculpture in the round.

Next show them pictures of Mount Rushmore, and let them tell you which four American presidents are sculpted on it (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt; they will have learned these names in History/Geography Lesson 19). Ask whether they think it is very big or very small (very big) How can they tell? (part of a big mountain) Tell the children that the heads are sixty feet high. Then ask what else they think might be sixty feet high (You might name a 10-story building they know, a flagpole, anything that gives them a sense of the actual size.) Ask: Why do you think the sculptor wanted to make these presidents' heads so big? (thought they were very important men, wanted everyone to be able to see them even from very far away)

Ask: Do you think this is sculpture in the round? (no) Why not? (It is attached to the front of the mountain; you can't walk around it, or see the backs of the president's heads) Say: We call this kind of sculpture relief sculpture, which is a big term you will hear again. It is called relief sculpture, instead of sculpture in the round, because you can't walk around it. Relief sculpture is always attached to something else, and it doesn't stand on its own. It could be part of the wall of a big church or other big building, even part of a mountain like these president's heads carved into Mt. Rushmore.

Ask the children how long they think the heads have been carved in Mt. Rushmore. If no one can guess (a long time, for example) tell them the sculptor started them seventy years ago. Ask if they know anyone seventy years old, and, if so, they will know that person has lived a long time. Say: That means, the sculpture must be very strong to last so long. What do you think the heads of the presidents are made of? (the same stone as the mountain, granite rock) Ask: Do you think stone is very strong? What do you think they used to make this sculpture? (huge drills, dynamite, jackhammers--remind children of what these are from their observation of workmen in the city streets) Do you think the rain and snow will spoil that sculpture? Do you remember what the Statue of Liberty was made of? (metal, copper)

Next, show the children the slide of Triumph of Bacchus. Ask whether they can tell whether it's a sculpture in the round or a relief sculpture (sculpture that's attached to something else, remind them). Tell them that it is a relief sculpture that is part of a huge box made for burial and was made nearly two thousand years ago by a Roman sculptor. Ask whether they think this is a big or small box (big). Tell them it is nine feet long, and that would be about the length of three of the children stretched out end to end. Ask what they see in the sculpture (animals, elephant, people, instruments, anything thing else they observe). Ask: Does it look calm and peaceful or lively and busy? Ask whether they like the two heads at the corners as well as the heads of the presidents on Mt. Rushmore and why.

Ask the children what they think this sculpture is made out of (stone). Tell them it is made of a very beautiful stone called marble, which was used a lot long ago for splendid buildings, the floors of palaces, columns, and statues. Ask whether they think drills and jackhammers and dynamite were used to carve this marble sculpture. If not, why not? (much too long ago) Finally, have them brainstorm with you about what kinds of tools they might have had when the Romans made this huge sculpted container (chisels, hammers, etc.)


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February


Discuss the saying The early bird gets the worm.

Participate in a craft project.


Bird and worm patterns (attached)

A piece of construction paper (9" x 12") any color one per student

A piece of yellow construction paper (5" x 7") one per student

A piece of brown construction paper (3" x 5") one per student

Yellow tissue paper (optional)

Gummy worms (optional)


Say: We have been talking about animals and their needs.

Ask: What do all animals need to live? (food, shelter/ home, water)

Ask: Do you know where birds live? (Allow children to name as many places as they can that provide birds with shelter.)

Ask: Can you name some foods that birds eat? (Again, allow children to name as many food sources for birds as they are able.)

Say: Some birds eat worms. A worm is considered a tasty treat for many birds. They are lucky when they find worms to eat.

Ask: Have you ever seen a worm? (Discuss with the children when they have seen worms. Assist them in concluding that worms are visible after a rain shower and early in the morning. Discuss how the worm shrivels and dries out in the sun if it doesn't go back underground.)

Say: There is a saying about birds and worms it says The early bird gets the worm.

Ask: What do you think people mean when they say that phrase? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: When people say this phrase they are thinking about how a bird, if it wants to get a fat juicy worm before it shrivels and dries up, has to get up early in the morning to find one. We say this phrase to other people when we want them to think about achieving a goal or getting something that they want. We mean that if you want to reach a goal you have to get an early start. Like the bird who wants a worm treat has to get up early in the morning to find one. People who want something special also have to get up and get after it before the chance is gone.

Relate the saying to an event for the children. The saying The early bird gets the worm could be used in the following situation:

"Sam," said Tim, "tomorrow is bat day at the baseball stadium, the first 200 kids to arrive at the stadium get a free bat!"

"Wow!" answered Sam. "Let's get there early so we can be waiting at the door for our free bat. The early bird gets the worm, you know!"


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February

Assist the children in the following craft project:

1. Provide patterns of the bird and the worm.

2. Children will trace the bird pattern on yellow construction paper. (If desired, cover the bird with 1"squares of yellow tissue paper wrapped around a pencil or finger and dipped in glue.)

3. Children will trace the worm pattern on the brown construction paper.

4. Children will cut out the pieces and glue them onto a piece of construction paper (9" x 12").

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Review with the children the work of Jane Goodall and her work observing chimpanzees (see Science Lesson 26).

Say: When we observe things we use our five senses. Can you remember what our five senses are? (Allow children to recall the sense of taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing.)

Tell the children they are going to be observing worms.

Say: To observe the worms with our sense of sight what part of our body will we use? (eyes) Which part of our body will we use to observe the worm with our sense of touch? (our skin, our fingers) How about the sense of smell? What part of our body will we use to observe the worm with our sense of smell? (nose) If we want to know what the worm sounds like what part of our body must we use? (ears) And if we want to know what the worm tastes like what part of our body should we use? (our tongue, our mouth)

Hold up a brown paper bag full of gummy worms and tell the children the worms are in the bag. Enjoy the reaction of the class as most will think real worms are in the bag. Pass out a gummy worm to each child (to their delight).

Allow students time to observe their worms. Discuss how the worm looks, smells, sounds, and feels. Compare the gummy worms to real worms. Finally allow the children to eat the worms.


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February

Bird and worm patterns


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February


Review the concept of shadows from Aesop's Fables Lesson 2 (The Dog and His Shadow)

Participate in a discussion about Groundhog Day.

Create a groundhog puppet.


Tagboard for making groundhog patterns (attached)

A piece of brown construction paper (6" x 8") one per student

Craft sticks (one per student)

Glue, crayons

A book about Groundhog Day and shadows

Suggested Titles

Christelow, Eileen. Henry and the Dragon. New York: Clarion, 1984.

Young children will enjoy this funny, suspenseful read-aloud story about a dragon that proves to be a shadow.

Dodd, Anne Wescott. Footprints and Shadows. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Impressionistic paintings accompany the story of how shadows come and go through the day. This is a beautiful book to share with your class.

Dunbar, Fiona. You'll Never Guess! New York: Dial, 1991.

This imaginative book is fun to share with the students as they will try to guess what the shadows represent.

Kroll, Steven. It's Groundhog Day! New York: Holiday House, 1987.

This is a fun read-aloud book to share with the students about the groundhog holiday.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. My Shadow. New York: Putnam, 1990.

Beautifully illustrated, this version of the much loved childhood poem is a treat to share with young children.


Review the concept of shadows from the February Literature Lesson The Dog and His Shadow. Children should be firm that shadows are caused by something blocking the path of a light source.

Say: There is a special day in February called Groundhog Day. This special day has to do with a groundhog seeing his shadow.

Explain that Groundhog Day is one way to determine how much longer winter will last. You may wish to point out Pennsylvania on the map and explain that the official groundhog lives in Pennsylvania and is named Punxsutawney Phil. Read a book about Groundhog Day, or explain what happens if the groundhog sees his shadow and what happens if he does not. Be sure children understand this is just a silly day for fun and does not actually determine how much longer winter will last.

Say: Today we are going to make a groundhog puppet. We will see if our puppet groundhogs see their shadows.


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February

Directions for making Groundhog Puppet

1. Distribute one piece of brown construction paper to each student.

2. Provide patterns of the groundhog for children to trace.

3. Children will trace and cut out the groundhog. Details may be added with a black or brown crayon.

4. Instruct the children to glue the groundhog onto the craft stick to create a stick puppet.

5. Review with the children that a light source is needed to create a shadow. Instruct children to look outside and predict if their groundhog puppets will see their shadows today or not. Take the children outside with their puppets to test their predictions. Help children conclude that the groundhog will only be able to see his shadow on a sunny day.


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - February

Groundhog puppet pattern