Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Lesson plans and teaching resources
Common Core Exemplar for High School ELA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Activities that assist students in increasing their familiarity and understanding of Lincolnís speech through a series of text dependent tasks and questions. This unit can be broken down into three sections followed by additional activities, some designed for history/social studies and some for ELA classrooms.
The Gettysburg Address — Defining the American Union
The activities in this unit guide students through an analysis of the themes that animate the Gettysburg Address, as they evaluate and judge Lincoln's enduring speech in light of an example of contemporary criticism that it drew.
The Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan
Students evaluate the role of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in the context of its place and time in history and explore how it is relevant in today's society. Includes vocabulary, printable handouts, and a downloadable video of well known people reading the address. Designed for grades 4-12.
The Gettysburg Address — Teacher Resource Guide
Background information, 3 learning activities, printable handouts and text of the speech. The first activity is designed for grades 5-8 and focuses on the understanding the address by creating a paraphrase. The second lesson is designed for grades 8-12 and focuses on rhetorical techniques like parallelism and antithesis. The third lesson, entitled "A Civil Conversation" is designed for grades 5-12. It focuses on discussion of the document. Scroll to page 11 for discussion/writing questions and extension activities. This 12-page document requires Adobe Reader for access. It is sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Designed for grades 4-6, this lesson asks students to use markers, paint, and old paper sacks as they paraphrase the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln's Inaugural Addresses and The Gettysburg Address
Students analyze three addresses. Handout includes texts and graphic organizers, requires Adobe Reader for access.
From the U. S. Library of Congress: "The 1860 census was the last time the federal government took a count of the Southern slave population. In 1861, the United States Coast Survey issued two maps of slavery based on the census data: the first mapped Virginia and the second mapped Southern states as a whole." This infographic may contribute to student understanding of the background to the Civil War.
Myth and Truth: The Gettysburg Address
By exploring myths surrounding the Gettysburg Address, this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed "facts" about this important speech and the Civil War. Students first freewrite and discuss questions about how to tell truth from fiction. They then read or listen to the Gettysburg Address and analyze its audience, purpose, content, tone, structure, and delivery. Finally, students research to find the truth behind common myths about the Gettysburg Address and present their findings to the class.
Students complete a variety of activities including identifying prepositions, expanding sentences using prepositional phrases, and distinguishing prepositions and adverbs. In cooperative groups the students will analyze the last three lines of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln as well as write prepositional phrase poetry. Designed for grades 6-8.
Teaching with Primary Sources Journal: the Civil War across Disciplines
For elementary students, a map-reading activity. Secondary students read and make inferences about short and long-term consequences for those on the homefront based on primary source evidence.
War Literature: Argument Analysis & Rhetorical Analysis
Among the resources here, scroll down to the handout "Gettysburg Address Rhetorical Exercises" for a close reading on style and annotation.
The Writer's Almanac: November 19, 2012
This 5-minute downloadable audio file by Garrison Keillor includes a description of President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. The description begins at :42 and continues to 2:09.