The Music of Poetry: Decoded_Lesson 3

Guiding Question – What do our National Symbols mean to me?
Focus Word – LibertyYoung Emma Lazarus
Lesson 3 – Emma Lazarus
1) Introduce “The New Colossus” by asking what immigrant means.
Capture the answers in a wordle.
2) Read “The New Colossus” by Lazarus or use an audio clip:
Ask students: What did you notice?
What is the setting?
Who were the characters in the poem?
Why did she write this poem?
3) Take a Virtual Tour of the Statue of Liberty.
The New Colossus  by Emma Lazarus click here to print                                   Emma Lazareth
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
—Emma Lazarus
4) Ask: What does the poem tell us about Emma Lazarus? What was her ethnicity?
Use Jigsaw Reading to Research Lazarus.
Does the vocabulary give us some ideas about Lazarus? See Lesson 3 Vocabulary
What perspective and/or point of view is Lazarus using in the poem?
5) Explore the interactive immigration map and draw conclusions about the years when
Lazarus lived.
or use Student activity.
Why was Lazarus was most concerned about the Russian immigrants?
6) Listen to the piece “L-I-B-E-R-T-Y” by Ted Barron  Audio Recording                        L-I-B-E-R-T-Y song by Ted Barron2
Why might this music be important for an immigrant coming to the US?
• Listen to “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor”  for another variation on the poem.
Also available at
7) Student Response Sheet_ liberty
Standards, Goals and Objectives:
Language Arts
1. 5.RL.5.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

  • Students will determine the overarching theme of these three poems, written by three very different poets in response to events in our nation’s history.
  • Students will determine how characters in the poem respond to challenges set before them.
  • Students will summarize the text.

2. 5.RL.5.6 Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

  • Students will listen to various performances and describe how the point of view influences how events are described.

Social Studies
1. 5. C.1.4 Understand how cultural narratives (legends, songs, ballads, games, folk tales and art forms) reflect the lifestyles, beliefs and struggles of diverse ethnic groups.

  • Students will determine how the lifestyle, beliefs, and struggles of the authors were reflected in their poetry.

Materials Needed
Lazarus poem
Student Response Sheet

  • Define immigrant, capture responses in Wordle
  • Listen to Lazarus’s poem, answer questions
  • Research – virtual tour
  • Explore Lazarus as a person – Jigsaw reading – vocabulary
  • Discuss perspective
  • Explore interactive immigration map
  • Student Response sheet

Carolyn Forche talks about how the Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol. PBS
History of the Statue
Lazarus’s hand written manuscript
From Haven to Home_350 Years of Jewish Life in America
Preparing for the Oath of Citizenship
Torch of the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Hand and Torch was sent to Philadelphia in 1876 and prominently
displayed at the Centennial Exhibition, a large fair celebrating the 100th birthday
of the United States. LC-DIG-ppmsca-02957
Statue of Liberty head in Paris
Statue of Liberty Head in Paris Park  LC-USZ62-18086
French workers constructing the Statue of Liberty
Workmen constructing the Statue of Liberty in Bartholdi’s Parisian warehouse workshop; Illus. in: Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, 1887 July 2, pp. 324-325
first model; left hand; and quarter-size head
Winter 1882?] LC-USZ62-20113
Immagrants passing the Statue of Liberty
New York – Welcome to the land of freedom – An ocean steamer passing the Statue of Liberty: Scene on the steerage deck / from a sketch by a staff artist. LC-USZ62-113735
Statue of Liberty Grand March by Daniel Spillane 1884
Statue of liberty, The; Grand march
LOC: Music Copyright Deposits, 1870-1885 (Microfilm M 3500)
Contributor: Ditson, Oliver – Spillane, Daniel
Original Format: Notated Music
Date: 1884
Janet H. BerryAbout the Author
Janet H. Berry,
Mrs. Berry has taught K-5 general music at Celeste Henkel Elementary/Iredell-Statesville Public Schools in Statesville, NC from Aug. 2005 to present. Mrs. Berry was Celeste Henkel’s Teacher of the Year 2011-2012 and a District Top Five Teacher of the Year that same year. Mrs. Berry holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music Education from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC,Orff Certification–Level III, Kodaly Level II.
About Banner Moments
Made available as part of the 2014 Banner Moments K-12 Institute—a project of the American Music Institute of the University of Michigan and the Star Spangled Music Foundation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities