Activities, Lesson Plans, and More
- Y—Young (PreK-3rd)
- M—Middle (4th-6th)
- O—Older (7th-12th)
- T—Teacher Resources
Using Art To Study the Past: Slavery, Freedom, and the White House
This lesson plan from The White House Historical Association provides an overview of slavery at the White House from the time of the country's founding to Emancipation. It includes original photographs, artwork, an activity, and additional teacher resources. While most of the resources are best suited for middle and older students, the activity is appropriate for younger children.
The Emancipation Proclamation Interactive Slides and Quiz
This is a good introduction to the basics of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation for younger and middle students put together in an interactive series of slides. It's broken down into easy-to-digest factoids with illustrations and quizzes.
Children's Literature: "Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation"
Benjamin Holmes, an enslaved child who secretly taught himself to read, delivered the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to a group of fellow enslaved peoples. Children can learn about the Emancipation Proclamation and the time period in which it was issued in this illustrated children's book and accompanying lesson plans.
Children's Literature: "Hope's Gift"
Hope was an enslaved child during the Civil War. When the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, her father fled to join the Union Army, leaving her with a gift of hope for freedom. This children's literature unit is accompanied by online puzzles, games, and activities.
President Lincoln’s Cottage: Emancipation Proclamation Teacher Resources
The President Lincoln's Cottage museum has numerous resources and lesson plans for learning about Lincoln and the Civil War. In the Emancipation Proclamation lesson plan, students will compare and contrast different drafts of the document using primary sources.
Free but Not Free: Life After the Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation didn't immediately grant freedom to many enslaved peoples. In this lesson from PBS Learning, students will learn about the many challenges facing Black Americans following the Emancipation Proclamation. The lesson plan includes activities, discussion topics, and videos.
Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation
The Freedmen and Southern Society Project from the University of Maryland is an excellent resource for learning about the Emancipation Proclamation. "Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation" contains transcriptions of hundreds of letters, testimonies, documents, and other primary sources from the Civil War Era.
Emancipation Proclamation: America Responds
As part of an exhibition on the Emancipation Proclamation, the Center for Brooklyn History published a series of blog posts featuring the views on the Proclamation from different parts of America.
Emancipation Proclamation from the Smithsonian Institute
The Smithsonian Institute has a large collection of artwork, illustrations, and political advertisements from the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Students can learn about different perspectives and the political climate of the time through the artwork that was created.
Emancipation Proclamation Coloring Book
A pdf booklet from the National Archives Experience
Lincoln's Views on the Emancipation Proclamation
Abraham Lincoln didn't originally set out to end slavery, but he would eventually come to. Learn about how his views changed over time in this article from History.com.
Emancipation Proclamation for Kids
This brief overview of the Emancipation Proclamation breaks down the document and Civil War in terms that are suitable for younger audiences. From HistoryForKids.net
Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress includes many of Abraham Lincoln's handwritten notes, letters, draft bills, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
PBS Collection of Slavery and Emancipation Resources
Large list of resources (including primary sources) relating to abolitionism, slavery and emancipation
Background, text and high resolution images of the original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation from the National Archives
The Emancipation Proclamation: An Act of Justice
What was Abraham Lincoln thinking when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation? What happened on the days leading up to afterward? This in-depth history and analysis by John Hope Franklin takes a deeper look at the history surrounding the signing of the document.
The Emancipation Proclamation: Lesson Plans
Lesson plan for grades 9-12 with many links and resources. From EDSITEment.
The Emancipation Proclamation Through Different Eyes
How did different segments of the American population view the Emancipation Proclamation? A lesson plan from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.