Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Lesson plans and teaching resources

150 years later, paper retracts its editorial about the ‘silly’ Gettysburg address
Newspapers occasionally print corrections and include the phrase, "We regret the error." This article includes observations on a newspaper's correction of its negative response to the Gettysburg Address.

Close Reading Activity for the Gettysburg Address
Students will be able to understand the meaning and central ideas of the Gettysburg Address, cite textual evidence to analyze a primary source, examine the structure of a primary source text, and memorize an important historical speech. Designed for grades 9 and 10; Adobe Reader required for access.

Gettysburg Address
A thorough unit plan with discussion questions and commentary, related links, vocabulary. Designed for grades 9, 10. 29 pages; word processor required.

Common Core Exemplar for High School ELA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Activities that assist students in increasing their familiarity and understanding of Lincoln’s speech through a series of text dependent tasks and questions. This unit can be broken down into three sections followed by additional activities, some designed for history/social studies and some for ELA classrooms.

Dedicated to the Great Task: Remembering and Studying Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
In this lesson from the Library of Congress, students compare and contrast an early draft of the address with a revised version.

The Gettysburg Address — Defining the American Union
The activities in this unit guide students through an analysis of the themes that animate the Gettysburg Address, as they evaluate and judge Lincoln's enduring speech in light of an example of contemporary criticism that it drew.

The Gettysburg Address Lesson Plan
Students evaluate the role of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in the context of its place and time in history and explore how it is relevant in today's society. Includes vocabulary, printable handouts, and a downloadable video of well known people reading the address. Designed for grades 4-12.

Gettysburg Readdressed
Designed for grades 4-6, this lesson asks students to use markers, paint, and old paper sacks as they paraphrase the Gettysburg Address.

Learn the Address
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns, along with numerous partners, has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech and submit the recording to this site.

Living on the wrong side of history? The Harrisburg Patriot & Union's notorious ‘review’ of the Gettysburg Address
Excellent background/analysis of the address, related links.

Mapping Slavery
From the U. S. Library of Congress: "The 1860 census was the last time the federal government took a count of the Southern slave population. In 1861, the United States Coast Survey issued two maps of slavery based on the census data: the first mapped Virginia and the second mapped Southern states as a whole." This infographic may contribute to student understanding of the background to the Civil War.

Myth and Truth: The Gettysburg Address
By exploring myths surrounding the Gettysburg Address, this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed "facts" about this important speech and the Civil War. Students first freewrite and discuss questions about how to tell truth from fiction. They then read or listen to the Gettysburg Address and analyze its audience, purpose, content, tone, structure, and delivery. Finally, students research to find the truth behind common myths about the Gettysburg Address and present their findings to the class.

Patriot & Union Editorial, 1863: On the Gettysburg Address
Comments about the Gettysburg Address published a few days after its delivery. (They didn't care for it.)

Teaching with Primary Sources Journal: the Civil War across Disciplines
For elementary students, a map-reading activity. Secondary students read and make inferences about short and long-term consequences for those on the homefront based on primary source evidence.

Today in History: November 19
This page from the Library of Congress includes images and links to related primary source documents, including the only known photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg.

War Literature: Argument Analysis & Rhetorical Analysis
Among the resources here, scroll down to the handout "Gettysburg Address Rhetorical Exercises" for a close reading on style and annotation.

The Writer's Almanac: November 19, 2012
This 5-minute downloadable audio file by Garrison Keillor includes a description of President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. The description begins at :42 and continues to 2:09.