Lesson Plan: Write the Gettysburg Address

Grades: 4-12 | Length: three 45-minute class periods | Subjects: History and Writing

GOAL:

Students evaluate the role of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the context of its place and time in history. Plus, they examine how The Gettysburg Address is relevant in today’s society.

OBJECTIVES:

1. Students able to list at least two events that led to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

2. Students able to present an argument re: why Lincoln gave the address.

3. Students able to summarize portions of the address in their own words or present an overall summary of the document.

4. Students able to discuss why they believe the Gettysburg Address is still relevant in today’s society.

SETUP:

Watch this clip with your students and give them the opportunity to hear The Gettysburg Address as it really sounded. Engage students in a discussion about what they just heard. Ask them these questions:

  • Have you ever heard this before?
  • Which parts stuck out or struck you the most
  • When do you think this speech was originally given?
  • For what reason do you think it was given?

MATERIALS:

PROCESS:

Day 1:
1. Hand out a copy of the Timeline to Address PDF to each student.

2. Hand out a copy of the PowerPoint presentation outline, parts 1 and 2.

3. Have students use the outline to follow along as you present the Gettysburg Address PowerPoint, parts 1 and 2.

4. During the timeline portion, have students fill out their own timelines. Based on the timeline, ask students to write 300 words on why Lincoln gave the address.

Day 2:
1. Hand out a copy of the Gettysburg Address text to each student.

2. Hand out a copy of the PowerPoint outline, parts 3 and 4.

3. Have students use the outline to follow along as you present The Gettysburg Address Power Point Parts 3 and 4.

4. During the discussion of the language used in the Address have students highlight important words or phrases in their copy of The Gettysburg Address.

5. Have students create a Tackk to write and complete their own version of the Gettysburg Address, as shown in this assignment. Require students to tag their Tackks, creating a Gettysburg Address board for your class.

COMPLETION:

Day 3: Have students lead a discussion regarding why they think the Gettysburg Address is still relevant today?

BONUS:

Have students deliver it! Ask students to record themselves delivering their versions of the Gettysburg Address. They can make it a song, rap it, sign it, do interpretive dance, dress up or animate it. Ask students to embed their videos in their Tackks at the bottom, below the written text.

ASSESSMENT:

Student's written timelines should be graded against objectives (above) 1 and 2. The Gettysburg Address Tackks should meet objective 3. The final class discussion should reflect objective 4.

Resource: Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan by Chuck Teague and Civil War Trust