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Background For Teachers:
Too often, teachers require students to memorize the Gettysburg Address without having a clear understanding of the historical significance of Lincoln's famous speech. This activity has been used with high school students to actively engage them as historians. As students reconstruct this era of history, they improve not only their essential research and critical thinking skills, but also immerse themselves in the lives of individuals who lived the Gettysburg experience.
We have found that students begin to go far beyond the memorization of the Gettysburg Address and begin to ask probing questions of the members of the different expert teams to help them create a clear picture of this time in history. The research skills that they learn in this lesson stay with them as they study other historical eras and seek out primary sources such as government documents, photographs, and letters to reconstruct history-making it come alive!
The Utah Education Network received permission from ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education) to share this lesson.
Written by: Cheryl Mason, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
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