Gettysburg Readdressed

Gettysburg Readdressed lesson plan

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address gets a modern makeover.

  • 1.

    Read the 272-word Gettysburg Address to the class. What did Lincoln's words mean to the country in 1863? Students draft a contemporary Gettysburg Address, applying Lincoln's ideas to today's life. Use current language and situations.

  • 2.

    Cut open a brown paper bag with Crayola® Scissors. Turn the bag so the inside faces up. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw light, evenly spaced lines on the bag. With Crayola Markers (NOT washable), students neatly write their contemporary words for the Gettysburg Address. When the marker has dried, erase the pencil lines.

  • 3.

    Students cover their tabletop work space with recycled newspaper. Using Crayola Watercolors and paintbrushes, have students illustrate a scene from their speeches. Allow sufficient time for paint to dry.

  • 4.

    To create an aged look, dampen the bag with water and a wet brush. Fill a brush with yellow, brown or gray diluted (very watery) black and apply color to the damp surface. Crumple the wet paper into a ball. Fasten with rubber bands and dry.

  • 5.

    Remove the rubber bands and flatten the artwork. It will be an aged-looking Gettysburg Readdressed.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln; The Gettysburg Address (Voices of Freedom) by Karen Price Hossell; The Long Road to Gettysburg by Jim Murphy; The Gettysburg Address in Translation: What It Really Means by Kay M. Olsen
  • Students work in small groups to identify the meaning of Lincoln's historic speech. Students pose suggestions for how they would re-write Lincoln's speech for today's audience. Students prepare their revised speech for presentation to classmates.
  • In small groups, students investigate other speeches that Abe Lincoln made during his tenure as president. Encourage students to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the selected speeches.
  • Students, working in groups, identify a topic that they want to write and deliver a speech on. Compose the speech, practice it, and be prepared to deliver the speech to classmates. The audience will be charged with rating the effectiveness of the speech.