Lesson Plan

Lincoln - Douglas Debates

Lincoln - Douglas Debate
Lincoln - Douglas Debate
NPS

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Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Twelfth Grade
Subject:
Anthropology, Civil War, Economics, Geography, Government, History, Pioneer America, Sociology, Westward Expansion
Duration:
1 Hour
Group Size:
Up to 24
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Council for Social Studies (NCSS): The Eight Standards

U.S. History: 1, 1A, 2, 2D, 2E, 3A, 6
Geography: I, II, IV, V, VI
English: I, II, III

Overview

Over the months of August, September, and October of 1858, Abraham Lincoln challenged the incumbent, Stephen A. Douglas, for one of the two United States Senate seats from Illinois.  In a series of seven debates on the issues of the expansion of slavery and popular sovereignty, the two candidates drew large crowds to towns such as Freeport, Quincy, and Alton.  Although Lincoln lost the election, the debates catapulted him to national prominence and eventually to the Presidency in 1860.

Objective(s)

Students will use information obtained from newspaper articles and actual speeches made by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas on social issues in order to acquire a better understanding of the beliefs held by Lincoln.       



Background

The introduction of the Kansas - Nebraska Act in Congress by Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas in 1854, ignited political turmoil in the United States. Based in the idea that as new territories were formed in the west due to population growth, and as those territories applied for statehood, the populace of the new state should decide, using "populuar sovereignty," whether the new state would allow slavery within its borders. The uproar created by this bill in Congress drew Abraham Lincoln out of private life as a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois back into the political arena. Speaking out against the bill at every opportunity, Lincoln, in 1858, decided to run for the Senate seat occupied by Douglas. 

Over the months of August, September, and October of 1858, Abraham Lincoln challenged the incumbent, Stephen A. Douglas, for the Senate seat from Illinois.  In a series of seven
debates on the issue of slavery and the idea of popular sovereignty, the two candidates 
drew large crowds to towns such as Freeport, Quincy, and Alton.  Although Lincoln lost
the election, the debates catapulted him to national prominence and eventually to the 
Presidency of the United States in 1860.   

 



Materials

For this lesson students will need a copy of one of the seven debates, a copy of Abraham Lincoln's House Divided Speech, Lincoln/Douglas political cartoons, journal entry example sheet, and journal entry worksheet. 



Procedure

  • Start the lesson with appropriate lecture notes.
  • Instruct students on requirements for journal entry.
  • Hand out examples of journal entry.
  • Critique the journal entry.
  • Elaborate on why it is considered to be a good example.
  • Hand out selected reading materials.
  • Instruct students to annotate the reading materials.
  • Students will create an outline of what information they will use in the journal entry as required by the blank journal entry worksheet.
  • Instruct students on how to document using APA Chicago style footnotes.
  • Allow students time to work on assignment.
  • Provide for peer grading opportunities.
  • Wrap up the lesson with discussion on what information they obtained from the reading materials.

Assessment

 

4

3

2

1

Required Elements

 

Includes at least one quotation from research material and includes at least six biographical details from ABLI life. All five Journal entries cover at least four different genres. Outline notes are included for all Journal entries.

Includes at least one quotation from research material and includes at least six biographical details from ABLI life. All five Journal entries cover at least three different genres. Outline notes are included for all or most artifacts.

Missing one to two required elements. May have no quotation from the novel or fewer than six artifacts. Outline notes are included for most artifacts.

Missing three or more required elements (i.e., the quotation from the novel and six biographical details. Outline notes are incomplete or not included for the artifacts.

Topic/Content

 

Journal entries clearly relate to the main topic. Covers topic completely and in depth. Encourages readers to know more.

 

Journal entries clearly relates to the main topic. Includes essential information and enough elaboration to give readers an understanding of the topic.

 

Journal entries clearly relates to the main topic. Includes some essential information with few facts or details.

 

Journal entries have little or nothing to do with the main topic. Includes little essential information and only one or two facts

 

Creativity

 

A lot of thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun as shown by creative style and outline notes.

 

Some thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun as shown by the creative style and outline notes.

 

Some thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun, but some of the things made it harder to understand/enjoy.

 

Little thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting or fun.

 

Bibliographical Resources

 

Includes properly cited sources and complete information. Students will use Chicago style APA footnotes.

 

Documentation is included for all sources, but some bibliographical information is missing.

 

Documentation for some sources is missing and/or incomplete.

 

No documentation is included.

 

Mechanics

 

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization are correct. No errors in the text.

Journal must be 1 page in length. 12 Font Times new roman.

Spacing no more than 1.5 with footnotes included at the bottom of the page.

 

Includes 2-3 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 

Includes 3-4 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 

Includes more than 5 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 













Park Connections

www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/debates.htm

www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/housedivided.htm

 

 



Vocabulary

Debate, beliefs, slavery, popular sovereignty, expansion, speeches, social issues