The Lincoln’s Legacy curriculum includes lesson plans for junior high and high school instruction, all written by teachers. Built around oral histories, each lesson serves as a case study for important topics in American history.

By sharing these stories in the classroom, we hope students will reflect on the past and be inspired by the impact one person can have on their families and communities.

The curriculum is designed to maximize student interest and ease of use. Each plan is print-friendly and provides you with all the materials you need—reproductions, handouts, activities, suggested strategies, standards information and additional online resources.

“We Stood Up” – An educator’s guide

We Stood Up – Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement was designed to inspire educators with a special focus on reaching children in grades 3 through 8. This one-of-a-kind audio anthology of first-person oral histories features civil rights icons, poetry, interviews conducted by children and original songs by Grammy-winning artists. This album can serve as inspiration for discussions or lessons on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Black History Month, President’s Day, anti-bullying efforts, school climate initiatives, social/emotional learning programs, educational technology, the arts and more.

For suggestions on how to incorporate these stories into your lesson plans and other educational programs, download our educator’s guide.

The Emancipation Proclamation

Although we know the Emancipation Proclamation to be President Lincoln’s great call for freedom, much is misunderstood about it. This lesson is designed to allow your class to examine the Emancipation Proclamation, looking at why Lincoln issued it, what it actually said and did, and why it was unpopular with many. You will also draw conclusions about Lincoln’s presidential leadership and legacy.

The Emancipation Proclamation overview (PDF)

The Emancipation Proclamation presentation (PDF)

The Emancipation Proclamation activities (PDF)

The Emancipation Proclamation document (PDF)

The immigrant experience

Everyone who has come to America has their own unique and interesting story. Featuring Oral Histories from influential leaders such as Fernando Aguirre, former CEO of Chiquita Brands, the following lesson immerses students in the experiences of immigrants to the United States over the past 200 years. Students will make connections to current immigration issues and document the stories of immigrants in their families and communities.

The immigrant experience overview (PDF)

The immigrant experience lesson presentation (PDF)

The immigrant experience learning activites (PDF)

The Greensboro Four

On February 1, 1960, four students from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina decided to take action for change. For years, they had grown frustrated by the segregation and discrimination in the South. In this lesson, students will hear the inspirational story of the Greensboro Four and apply their strategies to modern examples of perceived injustice.

The Greensboro Four overview (PDF)

The Greensboro Four lesson presentation (PDF)

The Greensboro Four learning activities (PDF)

Defenders of freedom

Millions of men and women have served proudly in the U.S. military for over 240 years. In this lesson, students will be immersed in the experiences of the American soldier. What is it like to be a defender of freedom?  Why do they do it? What has it meant to this country? Through video clips and primary sources, students will explore these questions and more.

Defenders of Freedom overview (PDF)

Defenders of Freedom lesson presentation (PDF)

Defenders of Freedom learning activities (PDF)