Lincoln 108 by artist Wendy Allen


Musselman Library
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-6600


For Teachers

Curriculum Materials
The list below includes websites with curriculum materials for a variety of grade levels. Many of these sites are recommended by the exhibit creators while others have been developed specific to the Forever Free exhibit.

Planning a visit with your class:
If you are interested in bringing a class to visit the Forever Free exhibit and would like additional information on what is available on-site for your students, please contact Kerri Odess-Harnish at (717) 337-7018 or

Websites with Curriculum Materials
Forever Free Teacher Resource Packet
From the Decatur Public Library, these materials were developed specifically for the Forever Free exhibit. Use these materials before, during, and after on a class visit to the exhibit. The guided interactive activities help students find information and meaning from the exhibit and are not identified by grade levels, allowing for flexibility.
We Must Not Be Enemies: Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
Grades 3-5: Students will understand the historical context and significance of Lincoln's inaugural address through archival documents such as campaign posters, sheet music, vintage photographs and documents. [Web site coordinated by National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).]
Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History through Analyzing Primary Sources
Grades 3-5: In these activities, students research narratives from the Federal Writers' Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S. -- both before and after emancipation. (NEH)
African-American Communities in the North before the Civil War
Grades 6-8: What was life like in three free African-American communities between the American Revolution and the Civil War? What generalizations can be made about life in the North for African Americans? In this lesson, students will tour and/or read about some important free African-American communities in the North before the Civil War. (NEH)

Before Brother Fought Brother
Grades 6-8: A complex series of events led to the Civil War and the five lessons in this unit help students develop a foundation on which to understand the basic disagreements between North and South. Through the investigation of primary source documents -photographs, census information and other archival documents-students gain an appreciation of everyday life in the North and South, changes occurring in the lives of ordinary Americans, and some of the major social and economic issues of the years before the Civil War. (NEH)

  1. Factory vs. Plantation in the North and South
  2. People and Places in the North and South
  3. A Debate Against Slavery
  4. Life Before the Civil War
  5. Women's Lives Before the Civil War
Lincoln: A Photobiography
Grades 5-8: This unit focuses on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Lessons are based on Russell Freedman's 1988 Newbery Medal winner, Lincoln: A Photobiography.
Small Planet's Civil War Lesson Plan
Grades 5-8: Civil War lesson plan with a good annotated list of fiction and biography about the era.
Using Art to Study the Past: Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
Grades 6-8: Lesson plan analyzes the symbolism in a painting by Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900) entitled "First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before Lincoln's Cabinet," e.g., Why is there a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the background? What message is conveyed by the use of light and dark? (Site created by the White House.)
Attitudes Towards Emancipation
Grades 9-12: The objectives are to evaluate the provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation; to trace the stages that led to Lincoln's formulation of this policy; to explore the range of contemporary public opinion on the issue of emancipation; to document the multifaceted significance of the Emancipation Proclamation within the context of the Civil War era.(NEH)
Families in Bondage
Grades 9-12: This two-part lesson plan draws on letters written by African Americans in slavery and by free blacks to loved ones still in bondage, singling out a few among many slave experiences to offer a look at slavery and its effects on African American family life. (NEH)
Lincoln in the Classroom
Grades 9-12. Abraham Lincoln Association: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War is a document-based unit for the high school classroom.
Grades 9-12: Among the objectives are to learn about the role spirituals have played in African American history and religion, and to examine Harriet Tubman's use of spirituals in her work for the Underground Railroad. (NEH)