I got the chance to watch the Lincoln movie a week or so ago. Loved it. Who would have thought? A movie about constitutional law? Interesting?
But great casting, great costuming, and great performances, especially by Daniel Day Lewis, create a great movie. My wife was concerned about the length and walked out afterwards praising the movie. Even my daughter, who is not the history geek that her dad is, said:
The movie helped me see that Lincoln is an actual person, not just some historical figure in some textbook. He played with his kids while trying to run the country. I thought that was cool.
And I learned more about the process of how laws are passed and so I plan to go to a great college and become a lawyer, supporting my father in his quest to play every golf course in the state of Hawaii.
Okay. I added that last bit. But she really did enjoy how a very important piece of American history was told in an engaging and interesting way.
But how to use the movie in the classroom?
There’s more to this weekend than simply watching the Kansas City Chiefs go 1-9.
It’s Lincoln weekend. As in the movie Lincoln. As in Daniel Day Lewis as Honest Abe pushing through the 13th amendment Lincoln. You know . . . the movie for History geeks Lincoln.
It’s a big deal. Well . . . it’s a big deal for me. I’ve always been a Lincoln fan. One of the greatest American presidents. I love the Civil War period and, wait for it . . . I was born on February 12, the same birth date as Lincoln.
So. A big deal.
Obviously loving the story and the content of the movie but I’m also interested in the sidebar sorts of stuff. And I’ve run across a variety of interesting things. One of the most interesting for me is a Lincoln website that showcases that floor plan and history of the Lincoln White House.
November 19, 1863. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Perhaps 20,000 people had gathered to hear former Massachusetts Senator and Governor Edward Everett deliver a speech dedicating the cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield. The dedication had been postponed a month to allow Everett more time to prepare his remarks.
The weather was mild for November, windy with a few sprinkles during the afternoon.
The Cemetery Dedication Committee had, as a courtesy, also invited United States President Abraham Lincoln to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” following Everett.
And while Everett delivered the first address at Gettysburg, it is the two minute, 10 sentence speech by Lincoln that we remember. Lincoln’s “appropriate remarks” should be required reading for every student who walks through our doors. Lincoln’s short but profound speech embodies the core of American democracy – equality, freedom, a government by and for the people.
EDSITEment has developed a four lesson unit that focuses on Lincoln’s vision for a strong Union that worked to ensure these core values. After completing this unit, students will have a better understanding of why Lincoln revered the union of the American states as “the last best, hope of earth.” You’ll find everything you need – handouts, primary sources, photos, teacher instructions
It’s a perfect fit for the next few weeks between now and November 19th.
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