An activity to revise vocabulary and information about a famous monument.



I did this with a class of fourth formers in France. I wanted to revise the information learned about the Statue of Liberty, but not in the usual way with questions and answers. The day before, I told them that they were going to be American guides in New York. That meant  they had to revise their their knowledge of New York City and thus the Statue of Liberty.  The next day, I gave them a document with detailed notes about the statue (see below).

I knew it was too detailed and too long but I just wanted them to select the necessary information. I let the better students work alone, and helped those who needed my help to make sentences (group work).

After 40 minutes, I listened to them and even recorded their voices so that they could evaluate their performances. We had a really good time because we managed to combine day-to-day English, communication and revision of history facts. Plus, some of them were very original and caught our attention for a few minutes. This is adaptable to any monument provided you have the information.

Example of detailed notes about the Statue of Liberty

Date Construction of the Statue began in France: 1875

Title of Statue: 'Liberty Enlightening the World'

Sculptor: Auguste Bartholdi

Bartholdi's Military Rank: Quartermaster to a force of five thousand soldiers

Bartholdi's Commander at Autun during Franco-Prussian War in 1870: Giuseppe Garibaldi (FS1986)

Structural Engineer: Gustave Eiffel

Method of Fabrication: Repousse Process

Statue completed in Paris: June 1884

Statue presented to America by the people of France: July 4, 1884

Statue dismantled and shipped to US: Early 1885

1885 Transport Ship: French frigate 'Isere'

Number of individual pieces shipped to US: 350

Number of crates required: 214

Location of Statue: Liberty Island, formerly Bedloe's Island and Fort Wood (fortress for protection of New York Harbor 1811)

Architect of the pedestal: Richard Morris Hunt (in 1877)

Champion Fundraiser for the Pedestal: Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian immigrant, Publisher of the New York World.

Treaurer of The American Committee for the Statue of Liberty: Henry A. Spaulding

Date the cornerstone was laid on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor: 5 August 1884

Source of Granite for the Pedestal: Leete's Island, Connecticut

Source of Lime for Cement for the Pedestal - Widow Jane Mine 688 Route 213, Rosendale, NY 12472, (845) 658-9900. Tours Available. Also on the web at: The Centuryhouse Historical Society

Date of Final Assembly of statue & pedestal: 1886

Official accepting Statue on behalf of US: President Grover Cleveland

Date of Acceptance by President: October 28, 1886

Part of Acceptance Statement by President Cleveland: 'We will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected'.

Date designated a National Monument: October 15, 1924

Date arm closed to visitors: 1916 As a result of ammunition dump explosion at Black Tom Wharf nearby in New Jersey

Wind speed at which Statue sways 3 inches (7.62 cm): 50 mph

Torch sway in 50 mph wind: 5 inches (12.7 cm).

Number of windows in the crown: 25

Number of spikes in the crown: Seven rays of the diadem (7 oceans of the World)

Hand with which Statue holds tablet: Left

Inscription on tablet: 'July 4, 1776' (in Roman numerals)

Day of America's Independence from Britain: July 4, 1776

Height from base to torch (Bartholdi's design): 151' 1" (46.50m)

Height from base to torch (1984 Survey): 152' 2" (46.84m)

Foundation of pedestal to torch (Bartholdi's design): 305' 1" (92.99m)

Foundation of pedestal to torch (1984 Survey): 306' 8" (93.47m)

Heel to top of head: 111' 1" (33.86m)

Length of hand: 16' 5" (5.00m)

Index finger: 8' 0" (2.44m)

Circumference at second joint: 3' 6" (1.07m)

Size of fingernail: 13"x10" (33x25.4cm)

Weight of fingernail: About 3.5 pounds. (1.5 kg)

Head from chin to cranium: 17' 3" (5.26m)

Head thickness from ear to ear: 10' 0" (3.05m)

Distance across the eye: 2' 6" ( .76m)

Length of nose: 4' 6" ( l.48m)

Right arm length: 42' 0" (12.80m)

Right arm greatest thickness: 12' 0" (3.66m)

Thickness of waist: 35' 0" (10.67m)

Width of mouth: 3' 0" (.91m)

Tablet, length: 23' 7" (7.19m)

Tablet, width: 13' 7" (4.14m)

Tablet, thickness: 2' 0" (.61m)

Height of granite pedestal: 89' 0" (27.13m)

Height of foundation: 65' 0" (19.81m)