Lesson Plan

Lincoln in the White House

Republican Convention held May 16 - 18, 1860, at the Wigwam in Chicago, Illinois. Library of Congress

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Subject:
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Additional Standards:
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
Thinking Skills:
Remembering: Recalling or recognizing information ideas, and principles. Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Applying: Apply an abstract idea in a concrete situation to solve a problem or relate it to a prior experience. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts.

Essential Question

What political compromises and actions were taken by Lincoln and his party in order to become President of the United States?

Objective

Students will research the political compromises and actions taken by Lincoln and his party in order to secure his party nomination and later obtain the necessary electoral votes needed to become President of the United States.

Background

The Lincoln - Douglas Debates of 1858 catapulted Abraham Lincoln to national prominence for his stance on slavery in the United States. His belief in restricting the expansion of slavery into the western territories appealed to many people in the North.  
Although Lincoln lost the election for the Senate seat from Illinois to Stephen A. Douglas i 1858, the national newspaper coverage of the debates made him a household name.  His party and national status was elevated further on February 27, 1860, when he delivered his Cooper Union speech in New York City before prominent Republican Party members. 

During the Illinois Republican State Convention held at Decatur in early May 1860, Abraham Lincoln received his first endorsement as a candidate for the presidency of the
United States.  Referring back to Lincoln's earlier years on the frontier, his supporters 
promoted him as "The Rail Candidate."  Heading into the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois on May 16, 1860, Lincoln posted a second place
showing on the first balloting.  Through the use of compromises and promises, Lincoln
gained more support and finally became a compromise candidate on the third round of
balloting at the Convention, ahead of his key rivals William H. Seward of New York and 
Salmon P. Chase of Illinois.  Ironically, both men would later serve in Lincoln's cabinet.

Republican Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln would square off against his old 
Illinois rival, Stephen A. Douglas, in the election of 1860 as Douglas was nominated for
President by the Northern Democrats.  A split in the Democrat Party led the Southern Democrats to nominate a pro - slavery candidate, the sitting Vice - President, John C.
Breckinridge of Kentucky.  Those of the old Whig and Know Nothing Parties that felt disenfranchised by all of the other candidates put their support behind a fourth candidate of the new Union, or Constitutional Party, John Bell of Tennessee.

The election of Abraham Lincoln on November 6, 1860, became the catalyst that 
ignited the Civil War.  Six weeks after Lincoln's election as President of the United
States, South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, followed by
six more states of the Deep South before Lincoln was inaugurated as President on 
March 4, 1861.  

Preparation

For this lesson students will need one of four accounts from the book Meeting Mr. Lincoln, journal entry example sheet, and journal entry worksheet.

Materials

Download Lincoln in the White House Lesson Plan

Lesson Hook/Preview

During the Illinois Republican Convention held in Decatur in early May 1860, Abraham Lincoln received his first endorsement as candidate for the presidency of the United States. His supporters promoted him as "The Rail Candidate." Through the use of compromises and promises at the National Republican Convention held in Chicago, Lincoln became a compromise candidate on the third ballot held on May 18, beating out rivals William H. Seward of New York and Salmon P. Chase of Ohio. 

Procedure

  • Start the lesson with appropriate lecture notes.
  • Instruct students on requirements for journal entry.
  • Hand out examples of the journal entry.
  • Critique the journal entry.
  • Elaborate on why it is considered to be a good example.
  • Hand out selected reading material.
  • Instruct students to annotate the reading material.
  • 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 a discussion on what information they obtained from the reading material.
  • Summative assignment will be the completed journal entry.

Vocabulary

Ballots, campaign, compromise, politics, nomination, electoral votes, social issues

Rubric/Answer Key

  4 3 2 1
Required Elements Includes at least one quotation from research materials 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 materials 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 fewre 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 and 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.
Creativty 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 4-5 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.  Includes more than 5 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc. 
















 

Additional Resources

http://www.myloc.gov/Exhibitions/lincoln/rise/Pages/default.aspx

Victoria Radford, Meeting Mr. Lincoln: Firsthand Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by People, Great and Small, Who Met the President (Ivan R. Dee, 1998) p. 19 - 21.

Ibid, p. 27 - 31.

Ibid, p. 44 - 50.

Ibid, p. 51 - 60.

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Last updated: November 2, 2018