Lesson Plan

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: Where Man and Memory Intersect - A Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plan

Indiana Memorial Panel at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial – National Park Service
Indiana Memorial Panel at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
National Park Service

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Subject:
Archaeology, Civil War, Historic Preservation, History, Museum Studies, Poetry, Reading, Reconstruction, Slavery, Social Studies, U.S. Presidents
Duration:
Variable: adaptable to teacher and student needs
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
indoors or outdoors
National/State Standards:
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12: Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861), Standard 3B Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877), Standard 1A
Keywords:
lesson plan, Teaching with Historic Places, TwHP, National Register of Historic Places, Abraham Lincoln, American presidents, memory, Memorials, Indiana history, American History, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Hoosiers, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, national park service, Civil War, 19th century history, archeology

Overview

In this lesson, students will learn about Abraham Lincoln’s early life in Indiana and about how cultural memory, historic preservation, and a memorial at his childhood home evolved together to create the National Park site that exists today. Students will study the textual and photographic evidence of memorials to Lincoln and his mother, and then describe how culture influences American memorials to public figures.

Objective(s)

  1. To trace the evolution of Lincoln’s boyhood home from local efforts to maintain Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s grave to a national memorial to the Lincoln family;
  2. To explain how Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial represents an important expression of the nation's respect and reverence for Abraham Lincoln;
  3. To describe the creative process of building a memorial and to design a memorial;
  4. To examine their own communities for memorials to commemorate individuals.


Background

Information on how to use a Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plan can be found here

Historical context for the lesson plan topic can be found in the lesson's Setting the Stage section.


Materials

  1. Two maps showing Indiana and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Site;
  2. Four readings about Lincoln as he is remembered, a history of the Nancy Hanks Lincoln's Memorial, how Lincoln is remembered both as man and as myth, and Indiana’s first national park;
  3. Seven photographs of different aspects of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial including the Nancy Hanks Lincoln gravesite and memorial panels




Procedure

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: Where Man and Myth Intersect

Each Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan contains the following teaching activities: Getting Started (inquiry question), Setting the Stage (historical background), Locating the Site (maps), Determining the Facts (readings, documents, charts), Visual Evidence (photographs and other graphic documents), and Putting It All Together (activities). See Parts 2-7 for information about how to use these resources.

Click here to go directly to the lesson plan.

Getting Started

Begin this lesson by asking students to discuss possible answers to the inquiry question that accompanies the "Getting Started" image. Provide them with paper print-outs of the image and question, or direct them to the lesson plan website. To facilitate a whole class discussion, you may want to print or scan the image to make an overhead transparency or digital slide. The purpose of this exercise is to engage students' interest in the lesson's topic by raising questions that can be answered as they complete the lesson.

Rather than serving merely as an illustration for the text, the image is a document that plays an integral role in helping students achieve the lesson's objective. To assist students in learning how to "read" visual materials you may want to begin this section by having them complete the Photo Analysis Worksheet for one or more of the photos. The worksheet is appropriate for analyzing both historical and recent photographs and will help students develop a valuable skill.

Getting Started section for this lesson

Setting the Stage

This section is intended to be used, if necessary, as background material. Read this material aloud to students or summarize it, or provide them with paper print-outs, or direct them to the lesson plan website. If students have computers, you can direct them to the page on the website.

Setting the Stage section for this lesson

Locating the Site

Provide students with the maps and questions included in Locating the Site. You can give them paper print-outs or direct them to the lesson plan website. Have students work individually or in small groups to complete the questions. At least one map familiarizes the students with the historic site's location within the country, state or region. Extended captions may be included to provide students with information necessary to answer the questions.

Locating the Site section in this lesson

Determining the Facts

Provide students with copies of the readings, documents and/or charts included in this section or direct them to the lesson plan website. Allow students to work individually or in small groups. The series of questions that accompanies each of these readings is designed to ensure that students have gathered the appropriate facts from the material.

Determining the Facts section for this lesson

Visual Evidence: Images

Distribute the lesson's visual materials among students. Provide them with paper print-outs, or direct them to the lesson plan website. Have the students examine the photographs and answer the related questions. Note that two or more images may be studied together in order to complete the questions. Extended captions may be included to provide students with important information.

Rather than serving merely as illustrations for the text, the images are documents that play an integral role in helping students achieve the lesson's objectives. To assist students in learning how to "read" visual materials, you may want to begin this section by having them complete the Photo Analysis Worksheet for one or more of the photos.

Visual Evidence: Images section for this lesson

Putting It All Together

After students have completed the questions that accompany the maps, readings and visuals, they should be directed to complete one or more of the activities presented below. These activities engage students in a variety of creative exercises that help them synthesize the information they have learned and formulate conclusions. At least one activity leads students to look for places in their community that relate to the topic of the lesson. In this way students learn to make connections between their community and the broader themes of American history they encounter in their studies.

Putting It All Together section for this lesson

Assessment

Assessment is built into the lesson plan in the form of questions for all documents, including maps and images, and in the student products completed for Part 7, Putting It All Together.

Additional Resources

Students and educators who want to know more can find sources of additional information (with links) here: Supplementary Resources.