Four Score and Seven: Uncovering the Greatness of the Gettysburg Address


It was 150  years ago this November that Lincoln delivered his succinct, weighty, and memorable speech at the solemn dedication of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Why have his words endured through the ages? Where do great ideas come from? How do repeated themes and ideas become a part of the national narrative? How can language influence and inspire? Explore these and other fascinating questions as we examine Library of Congress primary sources authored by Lincoln along with others from our nation’s history to uncover the enduring greatness of the Gettysburg Address. Discuss and gain ideas about meeting Common Core standards that focus on close reading of non-fiction texts.  Pre-requisite: Essentials Exploration.


8:30 a.m. Welcome/coffee

  • Sign in; Introductions; Overview of day’s activities; review the Notebook; Standards; Explanation of Day’s expectations
  • Reflection on classroom uses page—fill in first column now
  • Define informational text

For electronic copies of the workshop materials, go to

 Activity: What’s in the Gettysburg Address?

  • Pre-Reading activity and informational texts
  • Practice a method to connect to primary sources


Analyzing the Gettysburg Address using Scrolling and Textmapping

  • Making informational primary sources more accessible

“Fact-Finding Mission Field Notes” for the Gettysburg Address

  • Finding and tracking themes by analyzing the primary sources that inspired Lincoln



Grammar Detectives—Another way to “read” the Gettysburg Address

  • Reflection on classroom uses—make notes on possible activities
  • Discuss product from students and how to prove they met the standards


Computer time to find resources


Lunch (half hour) Credit information/ Assignment


Activity:  Primary sources that set the stage for the Gettysburg Address    

  • Timeline/Order the primary sources
  • Discuss context for the Gettysburg Address



Move to computer lab:  Field Trip Through the Library of Congress site                          
Demonstration of searching for primary sources


Work time—complete reflection sheet


Whole class—share ideas     


3:30 – 4:00 Turn in copy of reflection sheet


Click here for Workshop Resources

Current News

New resource: Book Backdrops developed by our summer institue participants.

Calendar of Events:

Coming this Fall 2015

Transforming America: America in the Gilded Age (Date to be announced soon)

Other offerings this fall will be Essentials Exploration and a Special Topics workhop focused on WWII