Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

Planning a visit with your class:

If you are interested in bringing a class to visit the Lincoln exhibit and would like additional information on what is available on-site for your students, please contact Meggan Smith at (717) 337-7009 or mdsmith@gettysburg.edu.

Websites with Curriculum Materials

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).]

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

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.)

President and War Powers: "Lincoln and the Civil War"
Grades 9-12: In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected to be the 16th president of the United States. Shortly after, the Civil War began and Lincoln had to make a lot of decisions and determine how to best use his powers to unify his country. Students will learn about the challenges Lincoln had to face as a president during wartime and how he worked to overcome them. (Site created by the White House.)

Gettysburg National Military Park Curriculum Materials
Grades 4-12: Student groups may visit the Gettysburg Park and participate in one of several ranger guided programs detailing various Civil War perspectives. Click the PDF links to the Program Guides for Teachers to view each program’s objectives and post-visit activities.

Gettysburg National Military Park Traveling Trunks
Grades 4-8: Students will get a first-hand look at the daily life of a Civil War soldier. Click the PDF link to the Guide Book for Teachers to browse the trunk item descriptions, discussion questions, quizzes, activities, handouts, and reading lists.