Learning Resources

With spectacular immersive environments, traditional exhibit galleries and high-tech special effects theaters, a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum promises a memorable day for all visitors. But for a teacher with a large group of school children in tow, navigating through the museum, while providing a meaningful learning experience, can be a daunting endeavor. To help you prepare yourself and your students, the ALPLM Education Department has created teacher resource guides specifically for educators bringing a school group to the ALPLM.

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Pre-Visit Teacher Resources

Museum Experience Teacher Resource Guide is filled with pre-visit, on-site and post-visit activities. Learn what to expect on the day of your tour as well as lesson plans and activities to prepare students for an enriching museum experience. This guide contains a museum questionnaire (scavenger hunt) for students to use in the museum during their tour.


Learning through Artifacts and Documents
Imagine how much more meaningful history can be for your students when they can handle reproduction documents and artifacts and view online items from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s unparalleled collection of treasured items used by Abraham Lincoln. Supplement the lessons with suggested classroom activities.


Exhibit-related Teacher Resources

Current Exhibits

Journey 1

The Lincoln's Farewell Address Teacher Resource Guide was created in conjunction with the nation's Civil War Sesquicentennial observance and highlights one of Abraham Lincoln's most moving speeches. Lesson plans and student activities are based on the president-elect's impromptu farewell to Springfield and his move from Springfield to our nation's capital in 1861. Find background information, lesson plans and classroom activities here. Recommended for Grades 3-6.


Journey 2
Gettysburg Address Teacher Resources was created to acknowledge The Gettysburg Address which was of one of Lincoln's greatest speeches. Find lesson plans and classroom activities here. Recommended for Grades 5-12.
Gettysburg Address Puzzle Challenge   You know the first seven words but do you remember the rest? Based on the museum's popular oversized Gettysburg Address Puzzle Challenge held at the ALPLM each November, teachers can challenge their students to learn and assemble the Bliss copy of the Gettysburg Address in the quickest time.  Recommended for Grades 6-12.


Illinois Gallery - From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama

First Kids Lesson Plan   The family of the President of the United States is called the First Family. Children of the First Family are referred to as "First Kids". Not only do these families move into a new house, but they move into the White House where they find many new faces, activities, and special events. what would it be like to live in the White House? Most of us will never know. We can only imagine. Recommended for Grades 3-6.

First Ladies Lesson Plan    In order to be President of the United States there are various requirements that musy be met. In contrast, there are no official requirements of a First Lady. There are no constitutional guidelines, there is no template, there is no agreed upon criteria for those wanting to rate an existing or potential First Lady. Former First Ladies have come from entirely different backgrounds. Numerour First Ladies prived to be very astute politically; others focused their White House days on their families and domestic issues. Recommended for Grades 6-12.

Inaugural Addresses Compare and Contrast Lesson Plan   Four presidents called Illinois home - Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama. Each presided over the country at a unique time in U.S. History, and this can be seen in the messages they communicated to the nation in their inaugural addresses. All four were reelected to a second term in office. Analysis of each president's 1st and 2nd inaugural addresses provides an opportunity to compare and contrast the priorities, goals, and intentions he outlined, as well as how the nation may have been changing at that time. Recommended for Grades 9-12.



Past Exhibits

Illinois Gallery - Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry
 Analyzing Political Cartoons helps students learn how to analyze a political cartoon. Click on the link below to access the Library of Congress's digital copy of the cartoon The national game. Three "outs" and one "run" which depicts the four candidates participating in the election of 1860 through a game of baseball to use with this lesson. Recommended for Grades 9-12, can be adjusted for Grades 6-8.
Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-09311
The To Kill and to Heal Teacher Resource Guide explores the philosophical and moral divisions over the expansion of slavery and the election of Abraham Lincoln. Several lesson plans for Grades 4-12.


Team of Rivals Teacher Resources Created in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's exclusive exhibit "Team of Rivals: Lincoln's Cabinet at the Crossroads of War," the accompanying educator lesson plans provide historical background and student activities based on Abraham Lincoln's presidential nomination over well-known rivals who sought the same office. Several lesson plans for Grades 4-12.

Conducting Historical Research

Mr. Lincoln's Attic The guide provides educators with the historical background of the exhibit, as well as activities, worksheets, vocabulary and more, all geared to the Illinois Learning Standards. Topics explored include "Why We Collect" and "Do Objects Talk" which invites students to take on the role of the museum professional in examining artifacts to reveal the stories behind them. Recommended for Grades 4-8.

Oral Histories are a great way to bring history to life in your classroom.  This teacher resource includes first hand testimonials from Illinois residents and suggested student activities. Several lesson plans for Grades 4-12.


Historical Topics

Women's History Month contains exciting ideas for bringing Women's History into the classroom. Recommended for Grades K-3

Black History Month In celebration of Black History Month, this guide is filled with information and ideas to bring Black History Month into your classroom. The guide provides educators with historical background of Black History Month, biographical sketches of African-American History Makers, as well as activities, additional resources and more. Recommended for Grades 4-8.

African Americans in Illinois Includes the 1908 Race Riot Online Magazine and Generations of Pride African Americans in IL a Selected Chronology. Recommended for Grades 9-12.