Monday, May 23, 2011

The Statue of Liberty - American Symbol of Freedom

Statue of Liberty
Every American is proud of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom. The Statue of Liberty, one of the largest ever built, stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and has greeted millions of American immigrants who have come from Europe to the New World.

The Statue of Liberty was built by Fredrick Bartholdi. The French gave it to America as a gift in honour of the revolutions for freedom and liberty in both countries.

The monument was built out of copper plates that were put on a steel frame. Together with the concrete which it stands on the statue rises almost 100 metres into the sky. It shows a woman in a robe, wearing a crown with 7 spikes and holding a torch in her hand. In her left hand she holds a tablet with the inscription "July 4, 1776" , the date of the Declaration of Independence.

The statue soon became a major tourist attraction. Visitors were originally able to go up the spiral staircase to the observation deck and the torch. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 the Statue of Liberty was closed. In 2004 Liberty Island reopened to tourists, but today you are only allowed to visit the museum in the pedestal.

Vocabulary and definitions: Read the words and meaning. Try making your own sentence afterwards.
1. concrete (n.) = building material made out of a mixture of sand, stones, cement and water
2. copper (n.) = a soft reddish-brown metal that is used for wires and pipes
3. crown (n.) = circle made out of gold and worn by kings and queens
4. Declaration of Independence (n.) = document written in 1776 in which the thirteen American colonies declared that they were a free nation and no longer a colony of Great Britain
5. freedom (n.) = liberty
6. greet (v.) = to say hello
7. immigrant (n.) = person who leaves their home country and goes to another country to live and work there
8. in honour of = to show that you like someone and respect them
9. inscription (n.) = a piece of writing
10. major (adj.)= very big
11. monument (n.) = statue
12. pedestal (n.) = base on which something stands
13. originally (adv.) = at first
14. robe (n.)= long piece of clothing that you usually wear at special events
15. spikes (n.)= a long thins pointed piece of metal
16. spiral staircase (n.) = stars that move up in a circle
17. steel (n.) = a strong metal made out of iron; it can be easily formed and shaped
18. tablet (n.) = a flat piece of stone on which you can write something
19. torch (n.) = a long stick that burns on one end

Follow-up qustions:
1. How important are monuments (like Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty) in defining a nation?
2. How do you think ancient civilizations (for example, the Egyptians, Mayans, and Greeks) constructed large buildings?
3. Describe a building/monument you dislike. Why don't you like it?
4. What monuments of your city do you consider the most impressive? Why? How about other country's monuments?

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