Lesson Plans and Idea Cards

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Grades K-3 The Boyhood of Abraham Lincoln: 200 Years of Change
Lesson plan. Students read and illustrate a story about the early life of Abraham Lincoln. Students draw pictures comparing childhood in the past and present. Students learn some words in American Sign Language and tell a story about Lincoln in American Sign Language. Students present a “Show and Tell” with items from their own lives that are similar and different from items used long ago.

Grades K-3 Dramatic Interpretation: Stories of Abraham Lincoln’s Family and Early Life
Idea card. Students explore Abraham Lincoln’s Kentucky heritage through pantomime and visual art.

Grades K-3 Honoring Lincoln
Idea card. Students compare the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial in Kentucky to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, through discussion and a game.

Grades K-3 Lincoln and the Penny
Idea card. Students explore the history and art of the Lincoln cent, then perform counting and math activities involving the penny and the $5 bill.

Grades 3-8 The Lincoln Memorial and Civil Rights
Idea card. Students investigate the Lincoln Memorial as a source for inspiration and hope in the Civil Rights Movement.

Grades 4-5 As the Twig Is Bent: Lincoln’s Character in Picture Books
Lesson plan. After examining picture books about Lincoln’s childhood, students retell historic stories or create stories to illustrate qualities of character that Lincoln possessed.

Grades 4-5 Storytelling: From Aesop to Lincoln
Lesson plan. Students use storytelling as a tool to explore and remember historical information. Students watch video segments about the life of Abraham Lincoln and retell the information orally. Then students use primary sources and Aesop’s fables to interpret events of the Civil War.

Grades 4-5 Patterns of Human Settlement
Idea card. Students explore means and motivations of human movement and settlement in Lincoln’s time and create maps showing the Lincoln family’s movements into and from Kentucky.

Grades 4-12 I, too, am a Kentuckian: A Lincoln Travelogue
Lesson plan. Students prepare for and present a play, I, too am a Kentuckian: A Lincoln Travelogue. The play showcases stops on the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, incorporates music and dance, and shows the strong influence of Kentucky and Kentuckians on Lincoln’s childhood, his political beliefs, and his presidency. The play script is designed to be flexible so that students may add their own creative interpretations based on the research they have conducted.

Grades 5-8 Basic Democratic Ideas Idea card
Students analyze basic democratic ideas and the historical realities of slavery in Lincoln’s time.

Grade 8 Art Tells History’s Stories
Lesson plan. Students examine art works portraying Lincoln and aspects of the Civil War. Students research the life of Lincoln and key events in the Civil War as context for interpreting the art. Students write short speeches connecting historical information to artistic observation.

Grades 8-12 A Political Rally: The Election of 1860 in Kentucky
Lesson plan. Students analyze issues important in the 1860 presidential election in both the U.S. and Kentucky. In group work students present mock election campaigns for the four candidates and compare the classroom “vote” with the real county-by-county election results in Kentucky.

Grades 8-12 Give Us a Flag: Black Americans in the Union Army
Lesson plan. After examining primary-source documents dealing with Camp Nelson, the Union Army supply depot and recruiting station for African-American soldiers in Jessamine County, Kentucky, students create dialogues/plays featuring characters that might have been at Camp Nelson in 1864-65.

Grades 8-12 Understanding the Gettysburg Address
Lesson plan. Students analyze Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address sentence-by-sentence and discuss their interpretations within the context of the Civil War and today.

Grades 8-12 Lincoln: In His Own Words
Lesson plan. Students examine excerpts from Lincoln’s speeches and write articles using primary and secondary sources.

Grades 8-12 Lincoln Seen and Heard
Idea card. Students create sketches and a presentation after viewing photographs of Lincoln.

Grades 9-12 Lincoln’s Speeches
Idea card. Students analyze Lincoln’s speeches and why he was an effective speaker.

Grades 9-12 Lincoln’s Legacy: Kentucky on Trial
Lesson plan. Students prepare for and take part in a mock trial in which the Commonwealth of Kentucky is accused of not honoring Abraham Lincoln’s legacy.

Grades 9-12 Lincoln’s Resume
Lesson plan. Students research Abraham Lincoln through primary and secondary sources, including significant quotes and speeches. Students write resumes for Lincoln and, ultimately, for themselves, reflecting upon the personal skills that contribute to the work environment. Students analyze how Lincoln’s work experience contributed to his Presidency and write and deliver eulogies describing Abraham Lincoln’s greatest achievements.

Grades K-12 Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Teacher Network Lesson Plans

The Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Teacher Network has created lesson plans and units about Lincoln. These are available online at the Georgetown College web site. Many of the KET video segments would be useful additions to teaching these lesson plans; this cross-reference lists each Bicentennial Teacher Network lesson plan and the relevant KET resources.