Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Visit to the Liberty Bell

This week's stART (story + art) learning activity:
The Liberty Bell.

We really, really enjoyed our recent visit to...

We read a couple of these books in the hotel room before our visit and a couple of them after our visit when we returned home. The Great Big Wagon That Rang by Joseph Slate and The Liberty Bell by Debbie L. Yanuck were the two better choices for my kids' age ranges of 10, 5, and 3. The other two were better suited for my 10 year old.

The Great Big Wagon That Rang: How the Liberty Bell Was Saved
The Great Big Wagon That Rang tells the story of a farmer who used his wagon to hide the Liberty Bell from the British. It has a poetic rhythm, making it an enjoyable story to read. It is a great book to introduce your children to the Revolutionary War. There are different children's books with similar stories of the Liberty Bell being hidden in wagons driven by unlikely people.

The part of Philadelphia we experienced was just so lovely. Arkansas autumn can be pretty, too, but it really doesn't compare to New England.

Spontaneous leaf fights were constantly breaking out.

The historic area of Philadelphia looks like this...

with amazing things like this everywhere.

Our first night in Philadelphia, we walked over to see the Liberty Bell. It is held in a very small museum (The Liberty Bell Center), but the photographs and stories written on the exhibits are very interesting! I wanted to read them all.

It's the Liberty Bell! How cool!

On our walk back to our hotel that night - I recommend staying at a hotel in close walking distance to the historic sites. We stayed at The Holiday Inn/Historic District, and it was great for us.

This is the area courtyard area of Independence National Historic Park.

The next day, we had part of a day to do a little more sightseeing. There is a really nice, large visitor's center that is the perfect starting point for a visit.

We took guided tours of the various buildings within Independence National Historic Park, including Congress Hall, where events such as George Washington's 2nd inauguration and the Bill of Rights ratification took place.

Tickets (free but timed) are required for your tour of Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed). That's the cage where criminals stood before the court. You never know what young kids are soaking in from these types of trips and tours. However, when we returned from our trip, several times the kids have made comments towards pictures in books, such as "We saw that!" and "That's where 'such and such' happened."

There were so many places we did not have a chance to visit this time, including the Ben Franklin house and his grave site, etc. I had also wanted to visit the Betsy Ross house. I think some of the other places might have been better for young children. Next time!

Onto the art projects:
Sadly, I left my camera battery charger on vacation, and I had to order another one (which hasn't arrived yet). My phone doesn't take good indoor pictures. This is the three of them working on their Liberty Bell craft. I first saw the idea on The Goodwin Family's blog. I also saw that Christy from Superheroes and Princesses had made them AND these fun Liberty Bell cookies that we'll make whenever we get a chance.

This is one of their finished bells (made with a paper cup, foil, part of a wrapping paper roll, a pipe cleaner, and a jingle bell). Instructions can be found on many websites, including this one.

They were begging to paint, so I sketched (not too impressively) outlines of the Liberty Bell onto finger painting paper. They like to paint on this kind of paper because it's so smooth. You can't tell, but they used glitter paint for the bell.

Thank you, A Mommy's Adventures, for hosting stART!


Jenilee said...

how fun! thanks for linking back :) I saw it somewhere online and Elayna loved doing that craft :) looks like your kids loved studying the liberty bell too!

Debbie said...

I love all the pictures you shared here from your trip. I would so love to give Selena such hand on experiences. Their bells turned out so cute.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Your field trip looks like such fun. I love the bell you made.

Christy said...

Thanks for the link! We had a great time in Philadelphia too. We were there over 4th of July and it was such a neat place to be for the holiday. Their bells came out great!

Kayte said...

What a great field trip. Their bells turned out great.

Jackie H. said...

your kids look so excited to be seeing and learning about the Liberty Bell. What an awesome learning experience you have given them. I bet they wouldn't have been quite as excited just reading about it.