Home Works Elementary Education Distance Learning Curriculum

Developed by Emily A.

Edited by Miranda C.

Photo of Emily A

Essential Question

Why is the Statue of Liberty a symbol of freedom? Should it be? Why or why not?

Background Knowledge

symbol is an object that stands for/represents something else. For example, Aubie the tiger is a symbol for the Football team! It symbolizes fierceness and bravery.

In 1886 France presented the United States with a birthday gift: the Statue of Liberty. Without its pedestal, it’s as tall as a 15-story building. She is a symbol of the United States. The world-famous Statue of Liberty standing in New York Harbor was built in France. The statue was presented to the U.S., taken apart, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in crates, and rebuilt in the U.S. 

The Statue as a symbol is supposed to represent the freedom and liberty of the United States for ALL people. Part of the quote on the statue says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” 

When the statue of Liberty was built in New York, there were certain ways some people did not have the same freedoms as others. Here are some examples:

  1. Women could not vote
  2. Africans Americans could not vote
  3. Catholics were shut out of jobs and housing
  4. More than 300 Sioux women and children died in the Wounded Knee Massacre 
  5. The Chinese Exclusion Act kept Chinese people from immigrating to the US for over a decade.


  • measuring cups
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • large mixing bowl
  • (optional*) 1 ½ teaspoons of powdered alum 
  • (optional*) 1 ½ teaspoons of Vegetable Oil 
  • (optional*) Food coloring 
  • Pencil and paper

Safety Protocol

  • Parental help needed when boiling water 
  • Keep dough out of eyes and mouth 

Activity Procedures

What do you think of when I say, “Statue of Liberty”? 

Step 1: Read or listen to the background knowledge on the Statue of Liberty. This will help you to understand and apply the idea of a symbol to the following activity. 

Is the Statue of Liberty a symbol of freedom for ALL people? Why or why not?

Step 2: Using the instructions listed below, create modeling dough to form your own symbol.

What caused the creation of the Statue of Liberty? Why is it important? 

Modeling Dough Steps:

  1. Collect all ingredients from the materials list. You will also need to grab measuring cups, a mixing bowl, and a pot to boil water in.   
  2. With adult supervision and assistance, start boiling ½ cup of water either on the stove or using the microwave. Use an oven mitt to protect your hands from the heat. You may boil water in any way that is easiest for you. 
  3. Combine ¾ to 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1 ½ teaspoons of *alum (if you are using it) into a mixing bowl. Tip: Start with the smaller amount of flour and add more if needed. 
  4. Add vegetable oil (optional) and boiling water into the mixing bowl. Stir with a mixing tool (spoon, spatula) until the dough is well blended and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour or water if needed. When the dough is cool enough to handle, knead (squeeze/massage) it with your hands until it is smooth. This should only take a minute or two. 
  5. If you want colors of dough other than white, separate dough into 2 or 3 balls. Flatten the ball and make a well in the center. Add two or more drops of food coloring to the well. Tip: add two drops for a pastel color and more drops for deeper colors. Knead (squeeze/massage) the dough until the color is even. Tip: Some food colorings, particularly certain blues, make unexpected colors due to a reaction of the powered alum. Test a drop the first time you use it on a small amount of dough. 
  6. Store your finished modeling dough in an airtight plastic bag or container. It will keep for weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Be sure to let it warm to room temperature before using. 

What is a symbol that represents who you are as an individual? 

Step 3: After creating your dough, think of an important symbol in your life that you would like to recreate using the dough.

Step 4: Using the dough, recreate the symbol.

Why does that symbol represent you? 

Step 5: Using pencil and paper write a short respose explaining why this symbol represents part of your life.

Step 6: With parent/guardian permission, share the results of your activity on social media using #AUHomeWorks!

Last modified: November 17, 2020