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.

To view the Teacher Resource Guides, you will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader if it is not installed on your computer. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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.
  • Lincoln Legacy Learning Kits - Bring the museum to your classroom! Check out kits from your local public library filled with artifacts, documents, books, and classroom activities.
  • Under His Hat - Explore artifacts in 360 degrees! Discover objects associated with President Lincoln through images and classroom activities.


If Objects Talked

Learn the stories the ALPLM's collections can tell while viewing them close up. Join our historians as they lead a special program for school classes and homeschool students. ALPLM historians will share stories about objects from our collections on a different theme each session.

Location: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.  

Program dates and themes:

Thursday, February 21, 2019: Presidents in Illinois

Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Presidential Inaugurations

Wednesday, March 20, 2019: The Lincoln Boys

Thursday, October 17, 2019: Presidential Elections

Thursday, November 7, 2019: Gettysburg

To register, contact our Education Department at ALPLM.Education@illinois.gov or at 217.558.8844. This program is free, but registration is strongly encouraged.


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

Teaching the Gettysburg Address Provides a curated collection of records relating to the Gettysburg Addressas well as the necessary context to teach these records.

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 - In This Great Struggle: The Greatest Generation Remembers World War II
WWII Personal Experience Lesson Plan - The World War II events documented in this exhibit are the experiences of the brave men and women who actually lived it. Their memories have been shared with us in order to preserve them for future generations. The events of this conflict along with the actions and choices that these young men and women made during it would go on to shape the rest of their lives, as well as the future of our country. This project is a way for students to get a first hand look at what their own war time experience may have been like while hopefully allowing them to form a greater respect for this past generation in the process. Recommended for Grades 6-12 (​Worksheet)
WWII Memorial Lesson Plan - The oral history used to create this exhibit are the personal reflections of the brave men and women who actually lived it. While we are simply hearing a story, these things truly happened! It is important for us to preserve the memory of what took place so that future generations will not just learn about it, but also find a way to relate to these experiences and connect them to the present. This project is a way to forge a personal connection within these young minds so that they respect the struggle that these men and women endured to preserve our freedom and commit to sharing these experiences with future generations so that this story will never disappear from our collective memory. Recommended for Grades 6-12 (Worksheet)
WWII Posters Lesson Plan - Posters and war time artwork was very important during World War II and are extensively featured in this exhibit. They would inspire the average citizen to do all that they could to help their country achieve victory. Whether encouraging men to enlist and go fight for their country or motivating women to do their part while working on the home front, everyone had a job to do and these tools of propaganda were effective in getting their point across. This project is a way for students to use their creativity to reinterpret historic design ideas into modern translations and gain a deeper appreciation for this motivational art form and the role it played during this conflict. Recommended for Grades 6-12 (Worksheet)



Past Exhibits       

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 must 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. Numerous First Ladies proved 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.


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.