Lesson Plans

Understanding the importance of educating about President Lincoln’s life and legacy, as well as the history of the great state of Illinois, ALPLM’s Education Department works hand-in-hand with our expert historians to create classroom-ready learning materials.

Ranging from individual lesson plans to mini-units of study, these resources can be modified for a variety of uses and scaled to work with most grade levels. If you’re looking for additional content to use in your classroom, don't forget to check out our Teaching Guides!

Gettysburg Mural Address

The Lincoln Presidency

By studying the Gettysburg Address, comparing Lincoln’s inaugural address to the addresses of others, and examining his relationship with his Cabinet and the key decisions they made during his presidency, students gain depth of understanding around the life and legacy of our 16th President.

Cabinet Room Photo

Team of Rivals: Lincoln’s Cabinet at the Crossroads of War

Created in conjunction with ALPLM's exhibit "Team of Rivals: Lincoln's Cabinet at the Crossroads of War," students in grades 4-12 practice historical interpretation, discussion, and writing to analyze why President Lincoln selected – purposely, from his opponents — a cabinet that would agonize, argue with, and advise him through the challenges of slavery, secession, and war.

Mary Todd Lincoln Dresses shown in Museum.

The First Family

Focusing on the role of the First Lady and the experience of the First Family, the lessons in the following collection highlight the experience of living and working next to the president in the White House.

Civil War Tech logo

Civil War Tech

Civil War Tech lessons provide hands-on activities for students to explore the evolving technologies of Civil War America. These lessons meld science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with history instruction. Knowing hundreds of students participate in (and love) our “live” Civil War Tech programs each year, we wanted to make these interdisciplinary lessons available for your classroom use. The following lessons are recommended for Grades 4-8, however content can be leveled up or down.

Their Words – Using ALPLM’s Oral Histories to Discover the Past

ALPLM collects and preserves the oral histories and memories of the citizens of Illinois from all walks of life. Oral histories ensure that future generations can hear the stories of individuals that are often overlooked by historians or textbooks. The individuals give personal meaning to historical events in their own words. The lesson plans in this section are built on oral histories from our collection and highlight the experience of the individual in the larger historical narrative.

Practicing Oral History

Practicing Historical Thinking Skills

Seeking activities to help develop students’ historical thinking skills? If so, the lessons in this section are for you! Whether analyzing political cartoons, discussing why museums collect objects from the past or organizing their own oral history projects, these lessons help students consider the role of the historian and museums in our understanding of the past.

World War II soldier

World War II Experience

Created to support ALPLM's exhibit "In This Great Struggle: The Greatest Generation Remembers World War II," these activities highlight oral histories from ALPLM’s collection and encourage students to learn directly from the men and women who fought in or supported the war effort during World War II. The following lessons are recommended for Grades 6-12.

Need a Specific Lesson About Lincoln or Illinois?

If there is a Lincoln- or Illinois-related topic that you struggle to find content to teach, email the Education Department and let us know! We would love to include your idea on our ongoing list of projects.

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