Ted's teaching tips;The big picture

21st May 1999 at 01:00
This mighty statue is world famous, but do today's children know about it?

The statue

What is this (part of the Statue of Liberty)? Where is it (New York harbour)? What does it stand for (freedom)? Where did it come from (a gift from France)? If the whole statue and base were laid flat on the floor, would it be roughly as long as a classroom, a tennis court, or a football pitch (at 92 metres - almost football pitch size)?

Liberty

What does "liberty" mean? Why do France and the US both value liberty (French Revolution, 1789, "liberty, equality, fraternity", freedom from aristocratic rule; War of Independence, or "American Revolution", 1775-83, the US fought free from British colonial rule, aided by the French)? Discuss a "freedom" issue: for instance, some people want to be free to smoke in restaurants and cinemas, others want to be free from cigarette smoke. What should happen?

The US

Why did people move to America ("new" country, fresh start, plenty of land for farming, rich in raw materials, especially gold in 1849)? Is the Hollywood "cowboy and Indian" story true (native Americans killed and driven off their lands).

Writing

You visit New York by sea. Describe your arrival, sailing past the Statue of Liberty, when you see the Manhattan skyscrapers.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

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