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Activity Overview

The Emancipation Proclamation is perhaps one of the most important documents generated during Abraham Lincoln's presidency. Examining this document will provide students significant insight into how Lincoln evolved as a president during the Civil War, how he operated politically, and how he conducted the war.

With this activity, students will use a grid storyboard to analyze the Proclamation as a primary source document. They will make inferences about Lincoln's presidency through direct quotes and examine the rationale and meaning behind excerpts of the document. Students may select their own excerpts, or the teacher can provide several options for them to analyze.

Extended Activity

Have students analyze and synthesize the words of "The Gettysburg Address". Students should again utilize the grid layout to relate direct quotes, comment on the quote, and put it into their own words. While short, "The Gettysburg Address" was a rallying cry at a crucial point in the Civil War, and is considered a seminal document today.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/11-12/2] Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/9] Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and concepts.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing excerpts of the Emancipation Proclamation.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the top row, type the direct quotes/excerpts you will be examining into the descriptions.
  3. In the bottom row, explain the meaning and rationale for the quotes/excerpts.
  4. Create an illustration for each cell using appropriate scenes, items, and characters.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

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Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

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