Students begin their tour in our new, state-of-the-art gallery, where they explore interactive exhibits on contemporary Heroes of Liberty and try their hand at drawing connections between ideas and art, guided by interpretive audio and text.
A life-size working replica of the Liberty Bell lets students hear the musical note that used to ring out from the original bell just two blocks away from where they now stand. This historic note sets the tone for students to explore how liberty comes to life through their actions.
Throughout the tour, our liberty educators lead students through an exploration of the museum’s art collection and exhibits, engaging them with the content in fun and creative ways. You and your students might find yourselves:
Our art collection comprises glass sculptures from world-renowned artists. Students and educators uncover layers of meaning in the glass art, from the medium itself – evoking strength, fragility, and beauty – to the subjects and properties of each sculpture. Students love describing what they see in abstract works of art and putting themselves in the shoes of the artist to ask themselves why an artist made the choices they made. They learn new ways of understanding art, art history, and make new discoveries about themselves, their classmates, and the community we live in.
While the tour can stand alone as a valuable experience for students, their academic learning is enhanced when you use our engaging pre- and post-visit lesson plans as part of your curriculum. The tour will contextualize the lesson content within liberty education and show students the power of what they are learning. You can choose lesson plans by theme, by character strength, or by academic content. We recommend doing at least one pre-visit lesson and one post-visit lesson, in order to enhance student learning. If you can do more, the lesson plans can be combined and used as a full unit.
What’s Your Story?: Using Perspective to Understand Others
Students practice seeing a story from diverse perspectives.
Identity Poem: Including Everyone’s Voice in the Community
Using their identity as inspiration, students each contribute a line to a class community poem.
The Peace Portal: Listening with the Goal of Understanding
Using an abstract painting that is a piece of NLM history, students practice listening with the goal of understanding what another student is describing.
The Conflict Resolution Menu: What Are Your Options for Dealing with a Conflict?
After a fun opening activity using restaurant menus to think about how groups agree and disagree, students practice brainstorming multiple solutions to a conflict. (Use with post-visit lesson, How Many Sides Does a Conflict Have?)
Do You See What I’m Saying?: Using Active Listening to Make Sure You Get the Picture
Students attempt to draw a picture based on verbal directions and compare the results they get when they listen actively vs. passively.
How Many Sides Does a Conflict Have?: Thinking Through a Real-Life Conflict
Students practice thinking about a real conflict in their life from the perspective of someone else. (Use with pre-visit lesson, The Conflict Resolution Menu.)
Balancing Rights with Responsibilities: How Do They Work Together?
Students think critically about their own rights and responsibilities, and examine the relationship between the two. (Use with post-visit lesson, Your Classroom, Your Rules.)
Activating Our Everyday Rights: How Do You Use the First Amendment?
Students play a game of “Step Up, Step Back” to explore how they have used their First Amendment rights in daily life.
Your Classroom, Your Rules: Thinking Through Your Rights and Responsibilities
Students think critically about the responsibilities placed on them by their classroom rules, and the rights that are supported when they uphold those responsibilities. (Use with pre-visit lesson, Balancing Rights with Responsibilities.)
Taking Action to Overcome Obstacles: A Hero’s Life Story
Using Helen Keller’s life as an example, students follow the story of people taking action to empower and inspire one another’s goals.
Investigating Gaps in Liberty: Identifying Issues and Getting the Facts Before Taking Action
Through the true story of a man wrongly convicted of murder and his sister’s struggle to free him, students take a closer look at the concept of ‘gaps in liberty’ and practice identifying real-life examples of those gaps.
Opening on Friday, April 7, this new temporary exhibit will showcase works that traditionally have been marginalized as “functional” glass art due to their association with an illicit activity. The “Treachery of Images” Exhibit embraces both the technical and social challenges of this art form by celebrating the unconventional designs and amazing craftsmanship of glass pipemakers. The work shown here, Freija by Banjo and Snic Barnes, is one of dozens of works that will be on display. Click here to learn more.
Opening on Friday, June 2 to coincide with “LGBT Pride Month,” this will be the nation’s FIRST museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBT+ community. It will showcase the diverse subjects, methods, and styles explored by these artists. The work shown here by Pearl Dick will be among dozens of works on display. Click here to learn more.
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for FREE film screenings and community-driven conversations. Four films are scheduled for the coming months. After each FREE screening, we will host a thought-provoking panel discussion. Learn more and RSVP Today!
The National Liberty Museum co-sponsors and hosts a series of lectures on important foreign policy issues. Click here to learn about the upcoming event on May 2.
Nominations for our 2017 TD Bank Young Heroes Award are now open. Each year, we look for young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, resolving conflicts respectfully, promoting diversity, and demonstrating leadership in their school or community. Learn more and submit your nomination today!
This year’s GLASS AUCTION & GALA will be held Saturday evening, October 7 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, 201 N 17th St, Philadelphia, PA. An outstanding collection of art is being assembled. Sponsorships are available. Our 2017 "Heroes of Liberty" are Stephen & Sandy Sheller. The artist honoree is Pearl Dick from Chicago. Click here for more information.
Join the NLM on an arts-filled tour of parts of Wisconsin, Sept. 6-11, 2017. From Milwaukee’s art museums, to private collections, to a stop in beautiful Door County, which juts directly into Lake Michigan, you’ll follow host Arlene Silvers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Click here for more information.