To create our Teaching Guides, the ALPLM Education Department works with our expert historians to provide background information using up-to-date and relevant scholarship within the field. Each guide includes key instructional context and suggested activities to further student understanding.
“A Direct Appeal”: Letters to Lincoln from African Americans
President Lincoln received thousands of letters from Americans during his presidency. Many of these letters were written by Black men and women who wanted a say in how they were governed. "A Direct Appeal": Letters to Lincoln from African Americans, provides historical context and letters from six African Americans (including George B. Vashon, pictured left) seeking to discuss important topics, such as colonization and equal pay, or to express well-wishes to the President.
Teaching the Gettysburg Address
Although the Gettysburg Address took President Lincoln only two minutes to deliver, the speech lives in collective American memory. Because of the speech’s popularity, and its place in American memory, it is easy to fall into teaching myth or to single out parts of the speech without providing students adequate context to understand the significance of the speech at the time — and its legacy over time. The Teaching the Gettysburg Address guide, which includes a curated collection of records from our holdings, provides the necessary context to enrich your students’ understanding of the Gettysburg Address.
Examining Lincoln’s Views on African Americans and Slavery
Since his assassination, Abraham Lincoln has often been referred to as the “Great Emancipator.” While he played a critical role in ending American chattel slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, he held complex political and personal views on the institution and African Americans that changed over time. The Examining Lincoln’s Views on African Americans and Slavery teaching guide provides context and records to help you lead your students in an examination of Lincoln's views on African Americans and slavery.
African-American History in Illinois
In this section, we recognize the significant contributions of African Americans to the history of Illinois. We further share the (often untold) story of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot when racial division and inequality, coupled with fear and resentment, led to uncontrolled violence.
Goodbye to Springfield: Lincoln’s Farewell Address
Goodbye to Springfield highlights one of Abraham Lincoln's most moving speeches. This collection includes lesson plans and student activities based on life in Springfield, the president-elect's farewell address, and the Lincoln family’s move to our nation's capital in 1861.
To Kill and to Heal: Weapons and Medicine of the Civil War
Using weapons and medicine as foci for understanding, To Kill and To Heal explores the technological differences between the North and South and the effect these differences would have on the outcome of the Civil War. In addition to providing significant background information, this guide includes lesson plans that can be modified to accommodate a variety of grade levels.
Want to Know More About President Lincoln or Illinois?
If you notice a sticking point in your Lincoln- or Illinois-related instruction, or just have a topic under those umbrellas that you would like to know more about, please email the Education Department and let us know! We keep a running list of projects and would love to add your idea.