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Museum Education Lesson Plans

Building Historical Skills

Program Coordinator

Studying the past can dramatically improve students' analytical thinking and writing skills. Below, you will find worksheets that can aid students beyond the history classroom. Please note that these worksheets are also used if you choose to include a primary source, artifact, or historical context activity as a part of your scheduled tour. These worksheets are not limited to studying the life of Lincoln and the American Civil War - feel free to use these worksheets to explore other historical subjects within the classroom, too.

Primary Source Worksheet 

Artifact Worksheet

Historical Context Worksheet

Outside of the Exhibt

Museums are locations for both traditional and nontraditional learning. At the ALLM, we invite adult students, doctors, social workers, and other professionals  to consider how they can use the museum to think "outside of the exhibit" with these special lesson approaches.

Using Artifacts to Drive Analysis

Objective: Participants will learn how historians examine artifacts, analyze and describe artifacts, and identify ways to use historical thinking skills in everyday life and occupations.

Time: 15-30 minutes


Museum Meditation

Objective: Participants will learn how to use the museum setting for a happier and healthier life.

Time: 15 minutes to one hour


Museums as a Space for Empathetic Conversations

Objective: Through guided group conversations, participants will learn how artifacts can be used to discuss human tragedy, build empathy, and share experiences with peers.

Time: 15-30 minutes

An Introduction to the ALLM

In these lesson plans for students in Grades K-4 and Grades 5-12, students will be introduced to both the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum and the work of museums with age-appropriate vocabulary, discussions, and activities. This is a particularly great activity to complete prior to visiting the Museum. Meets NCHS Historical Thinking Standards.

 K-4 Intro to Museum

 5-12 Intro to Museum

Lessons on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Civics

Lessons and activities on Abraham Lincoln for grades 1 - 12 based on 2019-2020 Tennessee State Standards

1st-2nd Grades

What Makes a Good Citizen Lesson Plan

What Makes a Good Citizen Worksheet

Objective: Students will be introduced to good citizenship through the story I Am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer.

Time: 1 hour

Keywords:  Lincoln, Civil War, slavery, citizenship, community, equality

Tennessee Social Studies Standards 2019-2020: 1st grade: Government and Civics, 1.15, 1.17, 1.18; History, 1.26;

2nd grade: Government and Civics, 2.28; History, 2.29


3rd Grade

Mapping Tennessee and the Civil War

Objective: Students will be introduced to Tennessee locations and divisions in the context of the years leading to the American Civil War.

Time: 1 hour

Keywords:  Tennnessee, sectional divides, geography, transportation, slavery

Tennessee Social Studies Standards 2019-2020: 3rd grade: United States and Tennessee Geography, 3.12; Social Studies Practices, SSP.06


9th-12th Grades

Of the People, By the People, For the People Conversation Series

Objective: Introduce students to good citizenship and explore the evolving idea of what defines the American citizen through the lens of Abraham Lincoln's life.

Time: At least 8 hours, total, for the entire series, though separate sessions may be broken down into individual, 1.5 - 2 hour sessions.

Keywords:  Lincoln, citizenship, community, voting rights, local, state, national

Tennessee Social Studies Standards 2019-2020:  SSP.01, SSP.02, SSP.04, SSP.05, CI.08; CI.11, CI.12, CI.14, GC.31, GC. 33, GC.34