Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War - Overview

The Lessons for December will introduce children to the great conflict that divided our nation and pit American against American. The Civil War at the second grade level will cover the controversy over slavery, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Yankees and Rebels, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. Knowledge gained at the second grade level will be built upon when the children reach fifth grade.

The teacher should note that the lesson concerning Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad is located in the December literature portion of this month's lesson plan. A follow-up activity to the literature lesson is suggested in the History Civil War Lesson 3 contained here.

There are many good books about the Civil War. Some samples of those books are listed below. Many go into more detail than is needed at this level. It is suggested that the teacher preview the books and choose the information contained in them that is appropriate to the topic being taught.

Suggested Titles

Adler, David. A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman. New York: Holiday House, 1992.

Chbosky, Stacy. Who Owns the Sun? Kansas City: Landmark, 1988.

de Regniers, Beatrice Schenck. The Abraham Lincoln Joke Book. New York: Random House, 1965.

Ferris, Jeri. Go Free or Die: A Story About Harriet Tubman. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1988.

Greene, Carol. Abraham Lincoln: President of a Divided Country. Chicago: Children's Press, 1989.

Gross, Ruth Belov. True Stories About Abraham Lincoln. New York: Scholastic, 1973.

Hamilton, Virginia. Many Thousand Gone - African Americans from Slavery to Freedom. New York: Knopf, 1993.

Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly - American Black Folktales. New York: Knopf, 1985.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1993.

Levine, Ellen. If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

McGovern, Ann. "Wanted Dead or Alive" The True Story of Harriet Tubman. New York: Scholastic, 1965.

McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick. Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Miller, Natalie. The Story of the Lincoln Memorial. Chicago: Children's Press, 1966.

Polacco, Patricia. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel, 1994.

Ray, Delia. Behind the Blue and Gray - The Soldier's Life in the Civil War. New York: Dutton, 1991.

Williams, Karen Lynn. When Africa Was Home. New York: Orchard Books, 1991.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 1


Gain background information of life in The United States in the 1850s.

Discuss Cities, Railroads, Communication, and Immigration of the 1850s.


A classroom size United States map


Write Cities, Railroads, Communication, and Immigrants on the chalkboard. Say: Today we are going to talk about these four topics. Let's read the four words together. (Read the headings aloud with the children.)

Say: We are going to learn about these four topics during the 1850s. Let's figure out how long ago the 1850s were. We can find out by doing a math subtraction problem. (Write 1996 - 1850 on the chalkboard in column form and subtract. Explain that the answer 146 means that the year 1850 was 146 years ago.)

Say: Let's think first about cities. Ask: What do you think the cities of the United States might have been like 146 years ago? (Allow children to speculate. Prompt with conveniences of today and question if the students think they existed 146 years ago.)

Say: In the 1850s there were nearly 100 cities in the United States (Write 100 on the chalkboard under the heading cities.) Most of these cities were in the Northeast, although some had also sprung up in the West and South. (Locate the Northeast on the map.)

Say: Look carefully at the map. This is how the United States looks today. Let's name some of the cities of today. (Allow children to look at the map and name some cities.)

Say: Remember in the 1850s there were only about 100 cities. Listen and I will tell you the names of some of the big cities of that time period. (Point to the cities on the map as you name them.) New York City was the biggest city of that time. Nearly half a million people lived there in the 1850s. Philadelphia was not far behind in size. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St.Louis, and Chicago were also fast growing cities. (Write New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati St. Louis, and Chicago on the chalkboard under the heading Cities.)

Say: Let's think about railroads now. Ask: What do you remember about railroads from our previous lessons about the Westward Expansion? (Allow children to recall as much information as possible from those lessons.)

Say: Like the cities, most of the railroads of the 1850s were located in the Northeast. Some of the railroads tied cities in the East to those farther west. In just a few more years, it would be possible to travel between New York City and Chicago in only two days. (Point to the two cities on the map.)

Ask: How would the railroads help the people of the 1850s? (They could travel easily. Goods could be transported easier.) (Write most in Northeast, and connected cities, under the heading Railroads.)

Say: Let's think about the word communication. Ask: Who knows what communication means? (Accept reasonable answers and examples.) Say: Communication means the way messages are exchanged. Ask: How are some of the ways we communicate today? (newspapers telephone, T.V., letters, E-mail, beepers) Ask: Why is communication important for people? (So we can share information with each other.)


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 1

Say: During the 1850s people did not have telephones, radios, televisions or computers. Ask: Do you remember how people communicated during the Westward Expansion? (Recall information learned about the Pony Express. Recall how long it took to receive news with this method.)

Say: An important invention made communicating easier for the people of the 1850s. The telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse. The telegraph was a machine that sent messages electrically by wire. By 1850, thousands of workers were stringing telegraph wires between cities, and thousands of other workers were sending messages across America. (Write telegraph under the heading Communication.)

Say: Our last column says Immigrants. An immigrant is a person from one country who comes into another country to live there. Immigrants had been coming to America for many years. By 1850, more than 300,000 immigrants had entered the United States. These immigrants came from many countries in Europe. They started life in other lands, and then they came to the United States to seek a better life. Some immigrants thought the most important thing about America was the feeling of freedom and equality. (Write a person from one country who comes into another country to live there, and 300,000 from countries in Europe under the heading Immigrants.)

Say: Let's look at the chalkboard and review what we have learned about life in America in the 1850s. (Call on different children to read the information from the board.)

Say: In the 1850s many people were moving to the cities of the Northeast, but still most Americans lived in villages or on farms and many of these farms were large plantations of the South. We will see in our next lesson how the North and South developed different ways of life and how those differences tore our country apart in war.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 2


Recognize that the North and the South each had developed its own distinct way of life.

Compare the ways of life of Northerners and Southerners.

Discuss the controversy over slavery.


A classroom size United States map

A book about slavery (see overview for suggestions)


Say: In the 1850s people referred to our country as the South and the North. People who lived in the North were called Northerners and people who lived in the South were called Southerners. The North and the South had developed different ways of life, although both regions were part of the United States. Today we are going to learn about those differences.

Say: When Southerners talked about "the North," they meant the Northeast and the Great Lakes and Plains states. (Locate and point to this area on the map.)

Say: Southerners saw the North as a harsh, hurried land. Northerners saw their world differently. To them the North was a land of progress. Many people lived in the Northeast and worked in factories. Remember that most of the big cities were located in the Northeast. Many people lived in the cities, but there were also a large number of people who lived on small farms. Most farmers of the North grew crops like corn and wheat, or raised cattle. Also, the North had most of the railroads. Remember too about the immigrants. The North was a fast-growing part of the country because the immigrants who came to the United States came first to New York City. Many settled in the Northeast.

Say: When Northerners talked about "the South," they meant the states from Maryland to Texas. (Locate and point to this area on the map.)

Say: Unlike the Northeast, the South had few big cities. Most Southerners lived on farms. But these farms were different from the farms of the North. Corn and wheat did not grow well in the warmer climate of the South. Farmers of the South raised tobacco and sugar, but the main crop of the 1850s was cotton. Picking cotton was a difficult, time consuming job. There were no machines to pick the cotton at that time so it had to be picked by hand. Farmers made money from the cotton plant. They sold the cotton to factories in England. Over the years, farmers planted more and more cotton, hoping to make more and more money.

Say: Growing cotton required a large number of workers. The farmers in the South bought slaves to do the hot, dusty work. A few farmers owned great plantations on which a hundred or more slaves worked picking cotton.

Ask: Who are slaves? (Allow children to share what they may already know about slavery.) Say: Thousands of black people were kidnaped in Africa. Ships carried them to America to be sold as slaves. A slave was owned by the person who bought him or her. He or she had no rights and no freedom.

Say: For slaves, life in the 1850s was very harsh. They could be bought or sold at public sales. Often families were split up at sales. Slaves worked from dawn until dusk on the farms of the South. Those who did not work hard or fast enough were whipped. Slaves were not allowed


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 2


to leave the farms on which they lived. They were not allowed to learn how to read or write.

Ask: Why do you think they were not allowed to learn how to read or write? (Slave owners were afraid that books might give the slaves ideas about freedom.)

Say: Many people worked hard to bring an end to slavery. Yet farmers of the South argued that slaves were better off than Northern factory workers. Factory workers, they said,

worked longer and harder than slaves and that slaves were taken care of from birth until death. Ask: Do you think that slaves believed they were better off than factory workers? (Allow children to discuss.)

Say: The North and South were joined together in one nation. But each had its own way of life. The North was a world of big cities and factories. In the North, most farms were small, and the farmers didn't need slaves. The South was a world of plantations and farms. The farmers of the south grew cotton and used slaves. Most Northern states made laws against owning slaves. The blacks there were free. Therefore, the greatest difference between the North and the South was slavery. This difference would soon cause the North and the South to fight against each other in a war called the Civil War.

Conclude the lesson by recalling the differences between the North and the South. Make a Venn diagram for the students' responses on the chalkboard. Read aloud a book about life as a slave to the children. There are several listed on the December overview. Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack and Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky are both excellent choices.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 3

Teacher Information

At this point in the study of The Civil War it is necessary to teach about The Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. This lesson is covered in the literature lesson titled Harriet Tubman. Teach that lesson now, then come back to history The Civil War Lesson 4.

Suggested Follow-Up to the literature lesson Harriet Tubman/The Underground Railroad


Drawing paper

Crayons, markers


It might be helpful for some students to visualize then speculate about the analogy of the Underground Railroad and a regular railroad.

Have students make parallel diagrams showing an actual railroad and the Underground Railroad. Each diagram should show and label the following: passenger, conductor, stations, and track.

Students might conclude the activity by speculating about related terms. For example: What does a regular railroad use for fuel? (coal) What would "fuel" be on the Underground Railroad? (food) What does "first class" mean on a regular railroad? (the best seat on the train) What might "first class" mean on the Underground Railroad? (traveling all the way north in a wagon)


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 4


Gain information about Abraham Lincoln's life.

Identify Abraham Lincoln as the President of the United States at the time of the Civil War.

Participate in a writing activity about honesty.


A book about Lincoln's life (see overview for suggestions)


Say: We have learned what life was like in the 1850s. Today we are going to learn about the man who was the president of the United States during that time period.

Read one of the books about Lincoln's life. If you do not have access to one, the following information should be shared with the students.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a small log cabin in Kentucky. His family later moved to Indiana. As a young man, Abe chopped wood, split logs for fences, plowed fields, cut corn, and threshed wheat. He made friends easily and loved to tell stories. He had less than a year of formal education, and he taught himself to read and do math. He was willing to walk great distances just to get a book.

Lincoln made a living doing many things that included serving in the militia, working as postmaster in his town, winning election to the Illinois General Assembly, and practicing law by traveling from town to town throughout Illinois.

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. She was from Kentucky. They had three sons. His first son, Robert, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Willie, his second son, died when he was eleven years old. Lincoln's youngest son Tad was very important to him. Lincoln became the 16th president of the United States on March 4, 1861 at the age of 52. The Civil War was fought during his time as President. He worked to end slavery.

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln attended a play at Ford's Theater. He was shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth. President Lincoln died the following day. He has been remembered for being a caring man and a great speaker and president. He frequently wore a tall, black, stovepipe hat. The Lincoln Memorial stands in Washington, DC, in his memory.

Say: Abe Lincoln earned the nickname "Honest Abe." When he was a young man, he worked in a store that sold tea and eggs and shoes and tools. One day when Abe was working in the store, a lady paid him six cents too much. That night, after the store was closed, Abe walked three miles to the lady's house. He gave her the six cents, then he walked home again.

Ask: Why did the people call him "Honest Abe" after they heard that story? What does it mean to be honest? (Allow children to discuss the virtue of honesty.)

Say: Right after Lincoln became President, a terrible war began. It was a war between the Southern states and the Northern States.

Ask: What do you think caused this war? (slavery)

Say: The Southern states did not want to be part of the United States anymore. They wanted to start their own country, so they could have all the slaves they wanted. The Northern states did not want to let the South start a new country. They wanted to keep the United States together.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 4

Say: Abraham Lincoln was on the side of the North. He wanted the country to stay together. He did not like slavery. The war made Lincoln very sad. Sometimes he was so sad that he cried.

Say: Even though Lincoln was very sad, he still told funny stories to his friends. Sometimes he took a joke book out of his desk and read jokes for a while. Lincoln's friends didn't understand how he could read jokes or tell funny stories when there was so much to be sad about. Lincoln told them that he needed to laugh. "If I did not laugh, I would have to weep," he said.

Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Choose from the following activities to conclude the lesson on Abraham Lincoln.

1. Children complete the following writing prompt: Abraham Lincoln was an honest man. I am honest, too. One time I . . .

2. Tell students: Young Abe Lincoln was said to have excellent penmanship. In your best penmanship, copy these lines that Abe practiced:

Good boys who to their books apply

will all be great men by and by.

3. Lincoln was well known for his jokes, riddles, and humorous stories. Start a class library of joke and riddle books. Have students share their favorite riddles and jokes from the collection. An excellent introduction for this activity is The Abraham Lincoln Joke Book by Beatrice Schenck de Regniers (Random House, 1965).

4. Write the following facts about Lincoln on sentence strips. Scramble the strips and post them on the board. Have students rewrite the facts in sequential order on a piece of paper.

1. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky.

2. He lived in a log cabin.

3. As a boy, he taught himself by reading.

4. Mary Todd became his wife.

5. He became our sixteenth President.

6. The Civil War was fought during his time as President.

7. As Lincoln was watching a play, John Wilkes Booth killed him.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 5


Trace the events which led to The Civil War.

Complete the map "The Nation Divides" to understand which states were "Union States" and which were "Confederate States."


A classroom size United States map

The map "The Nation Divides" (attached)


Say: By 1860 the North and the South had become two very different places. For many years they had tried to solve their disagreements peacefully. But the issue of slavery only drove them farther and farther apart.

Say: When Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860 the Southerners were very upset. Some feared that Lincoln would free all the slaves. The South began to talk about starting their own country. They wanted to divide the United States into two separate countries. The Northern states and President Lincoln did not want to let the South start a new country. They wanted to keep the United States together.

(Point to the map as you name the following states.) Say: In 1861 South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas left the United States. These states believed the North was trying to destroy their way of life. They were ready to fight for their independence. They formed a new nation. They called it the Confederate States of America. They chose Jefferson Davis, a cotton farmer and slave owner, to be president of their new nation.

Say: Abraham Lincoln was trying to find a way to prevent civil war. A civil war is a war in which people of the same country fight against each other. In April of 1861, Confederate cannons fired on Fort Sumter. Lincoln called for Americans to join the army and stop the attack. He said the reason for fighting was to keep the United States together. However, four more Southern states--Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee--left the United States and joined the Confederacy. The American Civil War had begun.

Give the students a copy of the map "The Nation Divides." Explain that the Northern states were considered "free" states because slavery was against the law. The Northern states called themselves the Union. They were nicknamed "Yankees."

Say: We will color the Union states on the map blue. The Yankees wore blue uniforms in the Civil War. When the Civil War began, Northerners expected a quick victory. The Union had more people and more money. They could build and supply a big army. (Assist children in locating and coloring the states that fought on the Union side of the war. See the completed map sample for states that stayed in the Union. Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were considered "slave states" at this time; however, they fought on the side of the Union and should be colored the same color as the rest of the Union states. Children will learn more about this issue at a later grade.)

Say: We will color the Confederate states gray. They were nicknamed "Rebels." The Rebels wore gray uniforms in the Civil War. The Southern states were considered "slave states" because these states did not want to give up slavery. Southerners also expected a quick victory.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 5

They had better war generals than the North and their army was better prepared for war because

boys of the South grew up riding horses and using guns to hunt. They were also fighting to defend and protect their homes and their way of life. Sadly, both sides misjudged each other. The Civil War would not end quickly and many people would die before it was over.

Assist children in completing the map by coloring the Confederate states gray. (See the sample.) Explain that the sections of the country that have not been colored were called territories. These areas were not yet states of the United States and therefore did not participate in The Civil War. The territories may be colored yellow.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

You may wish to share information with your students concerning the life of a Civil War soldier. Students may be surprised to learn that each Civil War soldier had to carry at least 40 pounds of equipment and personal items.

Decent food was a prized commodity on both sides. The Union menu consisted of beef or pork, hard biscuits, potatoes, rice, coffee, tea, salt, sugar, vinegar and molasses. Southern soldiers received only a little bacon, peas, flour, sugar and salt.

When soldiers were wounded, they might be given some panada, a mixture of toast, brandy, and some sugar, with hot milk poured over it. If a soldier had money, he might buy cheese, candy, canned food, or fruit from the sutler, a seller who would set up a small shop from a wagon in the army camp.

The book Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco (Philomel) gives a true account of two soldiers, one black and one white. This is an excellent book and appropriate for the second grade student; however, you may wish to read it to yourself first as it is an emotional story.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 6


Identify the following people: Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Explain what the Emancipation Proclamation did.

Explain how the North won The Civil War.


Say: The North went to war in an attempt to keep The United States together. The South went to war to protect its way of life. After four long years, the South surrendered. Today we will learn about some of the important people of the Civil War and an important event that took place during the war. We will see how the North won the Civil War.

Say: We learned in our last lesson that one of the advantages the South had in the war was the quality of their great generals. A general is a person who leads an army in war. The most brilliant Southern general was Robert E. Lee. Lee's home state was Virginia, a state in the Confederacy. Yet, Lee loved the United States and disliked slavery. President Lincoln knew that Lee wanted the United States to stay together, so he asked Robert E. Lee to lead the Union army of the North. Lee said, "No." He explained, "If I owned four million slaves, I would cheerfully give them up to save the Union (The United States). But to lift my hand against Virginia is impossible . . . [I cannot] fight against my relatives, my children, my home." Robert E. Lee became the commander of the Confederate Army. Throughout the war, Lee was one of the South's greatest strengths. He used daring surprise moves to win many victories for the Southern army, the Confederacy.

Say: Remember that when the Civil War began, President Lincoln had said that the goal of the war was to keep the United States together. Many people said that the goal should have been to end slavery. As the war went on, more and more people in the North wanted to end slavery. In 1862, President Lincoln decided that the time was right to do so. Lincoln announced that slaves in Southern states that were fighting against the United States would be "forever free." His order was called the Emancipation Proclamation. To emancipate means "to make free." The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863. From then on, the war was fought to keep the United States together and to free the slaves. This changed people's attitude about the war. Blacks could now join the Union army. They fought bravely in many battles.

Say: Remember that at the beginning of the war, the South had better generals than the North. By 1863, however, the Union armies had a number of good generals. General Ulysses S. Grant was one of the best. President Lincoln put Grant in charge of all Union armies. Grant fought hard against the South. He told his Union soldiers to destroy everything--crops, homes, and barns. Then Grant sent another general named Sherman into Georgia with orders to do "all the damage you can." Sherman was marching through Georgia with his troops and Grant was fighting in Virginia with his troops. Many soldiers on both sides died. General Robert E. Lee, from the Confederate army, knew that his troops could take no more. He arranged to meet with General Grant in Appomattox, Virginia to surrender. General Grant agreed to let the Confederates give up their guns and return to their homes peacefully. When the surrender of the South was over, the Yankees of the North began to cheer. But Grant stopped them. "The war is over," he said, "the rebels are our countrymen again." Ask: Why do you think Grant stopped the


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 6

cheering and said that? (Allow children to speculate and conclude that now that the war was

over we would once again be a united country and must all get along with one another.)

Say: After four long years, our country's most destructive war was finally over. The Confederacy was over and so was slavery. More than 600,000 Americans had died in the war, and the South lay in ruins.

Say: The man who guided the Union victory did not live to help the nation repair itself. Five days after Lee's surrender, Abraham Lincoln and his wife went to Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. to watch a play. John Wilkes Booth was upset at the defeat of the Confederacy. He blamed Lincoln for all the South's troubles. He drew a gun and fired. Lincoln was struck in the head. By the next morning, the great leader was dead.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Assist the children in creating a booklet of facts learned during the Civil War lessons.


1. Take one sheet of paper (8 x 11) and fold in half lengthwise.

2. Fold the paper again in half widthwise. Fold in half two more times and crease well. Open up the fold, and the sheet will be divided into 1/16's.

3. On one side only, cut up the folds to the middle crease, forming eight tabs.

4. Take a sheet of construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise. Glue the solid back side of the cut paper to one of the inside sections of the construction paper.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 6

5. Write the following words on the tab portion of the booklet: The Civil War, Harriet Tubman, The Union, The Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant.

6. Lift each tab and write a brief definition on the solid piece of paper underneath.

Civil War - A war in which people of the same country fight each other. The American Civil War was fought from 1861-1865.

Harriet Tubman - an escaped slave who helped hundreds of other slaves gain freedom through the Underground Railroad.

The Union - The Northern "free" states. They were called the "Yankees."

The Confederacy - The Southern "slave" states. They were called the "Rebels."

Abraham Lincoln - The Civil War was fought during his term as President. He did not believe in slavery.

Emancipation Proclamation - The order signed by President Lincoln that freed the slaves.

Robert E. Lee - Southern general who led the Confederate troops.

Ulysses S. Grant - Northern general who led the Union troops. He accepted Lee's surrender that ended the war.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 7


Gain appreciation of the purpose of memorials.

Identify the Lincoln Memorial as a lasting tribute to the work of Abraham Lincoln.

Particpate in an art activity.


White typing or tracing paper

Colored pencils (regular lead will also work)

Pennies (one per student)

Craft sticks (optional)

Suggested Book

Miller, Natalie. The Story of the Lincoln Memorial. Chicago: Children's Press, 1966.


Ask: Why do you think it might be important to remember Americans who have helped and served our country? (Allow children to speculate. Possible answers may be to honor their memories, to learn about ways other people have been good citizens, to show our pride in our country.)

Ask: What are some ways we honor Americans who have helped our country? (We may give them an award or medal. We have national holidays such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We have coins and paper money with their pictures on it. We name bridges and highways or other public places for them.)

Say: Let's think about the Civil War. Ask: Can you name any people from that war whom we should honor and remember for their service to our country? (As students name individuals from the Civil War ask them to justify why that person should be honored. Children should name most all of the people they learned about during the previous lessons.)

Say: Today we are going to talk about Abraham Lincoln. A special memorial stands in Washington, D.C. as a tribute to the service of this great American. Ask: Do you think Lincoln deserves a special memorial? Why? (Allow children to discuss the work Lincoln did in keeping the United States together during the Civil War and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves.)

Read the story of the Lincoln Memorial. If you do not have access to the book, the following information should be shared with the children.

Two years after Lincoln had been shot, plans were made to build a huge memorial in his honor. People were to send money to Washington to pay for it. A committee decided that a three- sided monument seventy feet high would be built. Generals from the Civil War would be on horseback at the base of the monument, on the second level important people would stand, and on the top of the whole thing would be a giant-size statue of Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. The people of the United States did not want a monument like that. People argued over which generals and which important people should be included in the monument. The plan to build a memorial died. Many people who had sent hard-earned money never saw a memorial to Lincoln. More than fifty years went by before one was built.


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 7

Several other plans for the Lincoln Memorial never developed. Finally, though, in 1911,

Congress chose a site on the Potomac River as the place for the Lincoln Memorial. They asked Henry Bacon, an architect, to design the building. Mr. Bacon thought of nothing else but the building of the Lincoln Memorial. It would take ten years to complete.

"It shall be a shining Greek temple of pure white marble, housing only a statue of Lincoln. It must be the most perfect statue of the man that human hands can design. It must almost seem to have a soul," he explained.

When the building began, a hollow stone was first placed in the area. It contained two copper boxes sealed into it. These boxes contained a Bible, a story of Lincoln's life, his autograph, copies of state papers, and other interesting things. An American flag was unfurled over the stone.

Slowly the temple began to take shape. Marble from Colorado was brought to Washington by railroad. Thirty-six columns were placed around the building for the thirty-six states that were a part of the United States at the time Lincoln was killed. Each state's name was carved above the columns. The names of the other states that had joined the United States at the time of the construction of the memorial were carved in the wall below the roof.

At last it was time to begin the sculpting of the statue of Lincoln. A sculptor named Daniel French was chosen. Mr. French and Mr. Bacon decided on a seated statue of Lincoln about ten-feet high.

Mr. French read everything he could find about Lincoln. He wanted to know the man before he began his work on the sculpture. He wanted to show Lincoln as President, the Preserver of the Union, for that was his greatest role.

It took almost three years to complete the statue. He shipped it to Washington to see how it would look in the great chamber. Mr. Bacon and Mr. French watched as the statue was placed in the temple. Both men shook their heads sadly. The statue was too small. It was dwarfed by the giant marble columns of the temple.

It was decided to enlarge the statue to a size of nineteen feet high and that it should rest on a pedestal about ten feet high. They also decided that the statue must be made out of marble instead of bronze.

This would make the statue the largest marble statue in the world. It would weigh between 150 and 175 tons. Mr. Bacon would have to add reenforcements to the floor to support the weight.

Meanwhile an artist named Jules Guerin had been asked to paint murals that would be placed on the sides of the building. He did not paint directly on the walls of the memorial. He painted on huge canvases in his studio. Each picture weighed about six hundred pounds and he used three hundred pounds of paint. He mixed the paints with wax and kerosene to make them waterproof. There is a picture of Lincoln giving a famous speech. The Angel of Truth is in the picture. The Angel is giving freedom to a slave. Another picture shows the Angel of Truth joining the hands of the North and the South.

Finally the sculpture of Lincoln was completed and sent to the site in Washington. It was perfect. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922. Thousands of people came to the ceremony and to see the Lincoln Memorial. The minister from the church that Lincoln had attended offered a short prayer. Dr. Robert Moton, Principal of Tuskegee Institute, spoke of the


Second Grade - American Civilization - The Civil War Lesson 7

gratitude his fellow African Americans felt toward Lincoln, and of the responsibility that comes with freedom. A poem was read that honored Lincoln. Fifty-seven years after Lincoln's death the memorial was completed.

On the wall behind Lincoln's head are carved the following words:






Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Discuss with the children the meaning of the words carved on the wall behind Lincoln's head. Allow children who have seen the Lincoln Memorial give their impressions.

Make a coin rubbing of a penny showing Lincoln on one side and the Lincoln Memorial on the other.

1. Distribute a penny to each child.

2. Have children name the coin and identify Lincoln on the front.

3. Explain that the building on the back of the penny is the Lincoln Memorial.

4. Discuss how the picture shows only the temple (note the columns) and not the statue of Lincoln. Ask: Where do you think the statue of Lincoln is? (It is inside the temple.)

5. Distribute the white paper (typing or tracing paper works best ).

6. Children will place the penny under the paper and color over it with a pencil (lead or colored).

7. Make a rubbing of both sides of the penny and label the rubbings Lincoln and Lincoln Memorial.

Optional Art Activity

Glue the penny used in the rubbing to the top of a craft stick. Make a small stove-pipe hat out of black construction paper to glue to the top of the stick. Write Abe Lincoln vertically down the stick with a marker.

Ask children to share their rubbings and Lincoln sticks and their knowledge of Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial with someone at home.