School Ideas for Lincoln's 200th Birthday
- Host a school-wide event that teaches the life and times of Lincoln as a school play. Recreate an existing play or have an older group of students write their own play on his life. Hold auditions and give parts to students in different grade levels. Offer a few smaller parts to students who want to take part, but can't yet read or suffer from stage fright. Perform the play on Lincoln's birthday and invite all age levels. Or perform the play at night and sell tickets to parents and friends, with the money going back to the school. Keep in mind that some schools are closed on his birthday.
- Older students at the high school or middle school level need a project that's a little more strenuous than basic recitation of dialogue. Teach those students the Gettysburg Address and then open it up to the classroom. Go over the lines one by one and ask the students what Lincoln meant by each one. Have the students put the Gettysburg Address into context with major events occurring at the time.
Dear Mr. Lincoln
- For the Dear Mr. Lincoln project, students write letters and ask questions about the life and times of the former president. It's best to have a younger group of students write the questions and have older students find the answers. Help the students research the president through websites, academic journals and even their own textbook. Ask the students to pick out their favorite questions from those answered. Then run a general assembly on Lincoln's birthday. Have a teacher or parent dress up as Abraham Lincoln. He reads the questions to the students and then gives the answers.
- Start an interactive blog on one of the free blog hosting sites and invite the students to take part. Ask each one to write a letter to Abraham Lincoln, comparing and contrasting his time with current events. Or, have the students explain his legacy and what impact he had on the current world. Older students may prefer writing a blog that explains how differently their life would be, had he not lived.