Abraham Lincoln’s Lesson Plan

Objective: To provide high school students with an understanding of the life, achievements, and impact of Abraham Lincoln on American history, particularly during the Civil War era.


  • Textbook or other reference materials on Abraham Lincoln and American history
  • Whiteboard or blackboard
  • Markers or chalk
  • Handout on Abraham Lincoln (with a timeline and key events)
  • Video clip on Abraham Lincoln (optional)
  • Map of the United States during the Civil War

Lesson Duration: 60 minutes

Lesson Procedure:

I. Introduction (10 minutes)

A. Begin the lesson by engaging students in a brief discussion on the concept of leadership and its importance in history.

B. Introduce Abraham Lincoln as one of America’s most well-known and influential presidents.

C. Provide a brief overview of the political and social climate in the United States during the mid-19th century.

D. Explain that today’s lesson will focus on the life of Abraham Lincoln, his presidency, and his role in the abolition of slavery and the Civil War.

II. Abraham Lincoln’s Early Life and Political Career (15 minutes)

A. Distribute the handout on Abraham Lincoln’s timeline and key events.

B. Discuss Lincoln’s early life, including his family background, education, and career as a lawyer.

C. Explain the political climate in the United States during his time, focusing on the growing tension between the North and the South over issues like slavery and states’ rights.

D. Discuss Lincoln’s political career, including his time in the Illinois State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

E. Encourage students to take notes and ask questions throughout the discussion.

III. Lincoln’s Presidency and the Civil War (15 minutes)

A. Detail Lincoln’s election as the 16th President of the United States and the secession of Southern states that led to the Civil War.

B. Discuss Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War, including his role as Commander-in-Chief and his decisions regarding military strategy.

C. Explain the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation and its impact on the war and the abolition of slavery.

D. Show a video clip on Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War (optional).

IV. The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and His Legacy (10 minutes)

A. Discuss the events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth and the impact of his death on the nation.

B. Explain the aftermath of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era.

C. Discuss the lasting impact of Lincoln’s presidency, particularly the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.

V. Conclusion and Class Discussion (10 minutes)

A. Summarize the main points of Abraham Lincoln’s life, his presidency, and his impact on American history.

B. Engage students in a discussion about Lincoln’s legacy and how his leadership during a critical time in American history shaped the nation’s future.

C. Encourage students to share their thoughts on Lincoln’s approach to leadership and his ability to navigate the challenges of the Civil War.

D. Assign students to research and prepare a short presentation on another influential U.S. president or a political leader (e.g., George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt) for the next class.