Gettysburg Readdressed

Gettysburg Readdressed lesson plan

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address gets a modern makeover.

  • 1.

    Read the 272-word Gettysburg Address. What did Lincoln's words mean to the country in 1863? Draft a contemporary Gettysburg Address, applying Lincoln's ideas to today's life. Use current language and situations.

  • 2.

    Cut open a brown paper bag with Crayola® Scissors. Turn the bag so the inside faces up. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw light, evenly spaced lines on the bag. With Crayola Markers (NOT washable), neatly write your contemporary words for the Gettysburg Address. When the marker has dried, erase the pencil lines.

  • 3.

    Cover a tabletop with recycled newspaper. Illustrate a scene from your speech with Crayola Watercolors and Paint Brushes.

  • 4.

    To create an aged look, dampen the bag with water and a wet brush. Fill your brush with yellow, brown or gray diluted (very watery) black and apply color to the damp surface. Crumple the wet paper into a ball. Fasten with rubber bands and dry.

  • 5.

    Remove the rubber bands and flatten your artwork. It will be an aged-looking Gettysburg Readdressed.


  • Children study Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and learn about its historical significance.
  • Students apply concepts from the Gettysburg Address to contemporary situations.
  • Children write a creative, contemporary version of the Gettysburg Address.


  • Learn more about life during the Civil War, and the reasons behind the battles. Make the times, people, and issues, come alive. Visit a battlefield to attend a reenactment. Trace marches on maps. Study how families were affected. Deliver the speech as you
  • Rewrite other historical documents, or parts of them, in contemporary terms.
  • Create an original document that you think should have been written, but wasn't. Write about an issue that's important to you, and identify the time period and context.