By Scott Ackerman
President Lincoln’s Cottage is pleased to announce a new Lincoln and Emancipation teacher kit, just in time for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in February 2009. Abraham Lincoln accumulated less then a year of formal education throughout his life, but understood the role of education in society. In one of Lincoln’s first public statements, Lincoln said, “Upon the subject of education, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” It is in this spirit that President Lincoln’s Cottage, together with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, has created teacher kits designed to supply teachers with first class materials to educate their students on one of President Lincoln’s most important measures: the Emancipation Proclamation.
The creation and distribution of the teacher kit is generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is designated a We the People project. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this kit do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment of the Humanities. Kits are free of charge for teachers but quantities are limited.
The Lincoln and Emancipation Teacher Kits are designed to show through Lincoln’s own words and actions how his policies on emancipation evolved throughout his presidency. Lincoln scholars Allen C. Guelzo and Edna Greene Medford provide context for Lincoln’s emancipation process. Mathew Pinsker’s Lincoln’s Sancutary: Abraham Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home underscores the connection between the Soldiers’ Home and Lincoln’s development of the Emancipation Proclamation. Primary resources allows teachers and students to see the complexity of emancipation for themselves and gain insight into the subtle nature of the Emancipation Proclamation’s timing, language, and impact.
The kit is an invaluable tool for teachers grades 5-12 in particular, addresses specific standards of learning to meet curriculum needs, and offers new resources and insights into President Lincoln’s leadership and the complex topic of Emancipation. If you or a teacher you know would like a free teacher’s kit, email Scott_Ackerman@nthp.org. Please include your name, contact information at school, and the grade you teach in your request email.