Teaching Resources for the Gettysburg Address

November 15th, 2013

November 19, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Delivered by Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, the short speech went on to become one of the most famous in American history, and is inscribed onto the Lincoln Memorial. Honor this important historical moment in your classroom.  Here are ten helpful ideas:

1. Adhere to Common Core objectives and take your class through a close reading of the speech.

2. Compare this address with Lincoln’s other notable speeches and discuss the similarities and differences.

3. Use this helpful teacher resource guide, created by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

4. Incorporate history and English language arts by analyzing the persuasive techniques used by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address.

5. Broaden the discussion and incorporate this lesson plan to converse about who these men who “gave their lives that that nation might live” were, and why ordinary citizens are willing to risk their lives for their country.

6.  Read like a detective, and analyze the meaning of Lincoln’s words with this lesson plan from Gilder Lehrman. 

7. Examine Lincoln in his historical entirety through lesson plans and videos from PBS.

8. Utilize this interactive timeline to understand the events impacting Lincoln’s most famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address.

9. Read remarks by WSPWH editor Leon Kass on the meaning and interpretation of the Gettysburg Address and how Lincoln understood the Civil War. Watch a video of Leon Kass discussing the speech with noted scholar Walter Berns.

10. View a digital copy of the Gettysburg Address at the Smithsonian, and learn the stories behind the words.

BONUS: Help students imagine the events leading to Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address with this short, short story told through the viewpoint of a (fictional) black servant to David Wills, Lincoln’s host in Gettysburg. 

Use these helpful tips in your classroom, and prove that the words Lincoln spoke that day were of note and long remembered.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Tags: , , ,