Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE

School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Abraham Lincoln and Slavery - Timeline

July 24, 2008

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

4 th Grade

Social Studies

45 minutes - 1 hour

15 students


Students will continue learning about Abraham Lincoln with an activity designed to show the interaction and views that Lincoln had regarding slavery.

NYS Standards

NYS Social Studies #1: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.

NYS ELA #1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.


Students will create a timeline that shows key events in Lincoln's life related to slavery.


Social Studies Interactive Notebook

Left Page - Timeline

Right page - Written article on slavery


Thomas Schwartz (Ed.). Abraham Lincoln Chronology. Illinois Historic Preservation

Agency. Springfield, Illinois.

Background Information

Students will already have some basic information about the life of Lincoln. We will have discussed his presidency, the time in which he lived, the Civil War, and slavery.

Students have previously begun interactive notebooks and will be familiar with the process. The right hand page will include a written selection, while the left hand page will include a visual activity, in this case a timeline with student illustrations.

Preparation of Learning Environment

Students will be working on this activity independently with guidance from the teacher throughout.

Anticipatory Set

Today we are going to create a timeline of Abraham Lincoln's life. Our focus is to look at what Lincoln thought about and did about slavery. Ask students, "What is a timeline?" and "What types of things should be in a timeline?"


1) Hand out Right Hand page for students to glue in their notebook.

2) Read with students and highlight dates and events. Some of the words are missing and need to be filled in as you go (like a CLOZE activity).

3) Students will place a star next to three events that they feel are most important.

4) On the left hand page, students will create a timeline containing all of the events contained in the article.

5) Students will illustrate the three starred events.


Selection will be read with students who have difficulty reading. Students can be provided with a template to complete the timeline more easily.

Extension Activities

Students can research and add more events to their timelines focusing on important events in Lincoln's life.


Student notebooks will be graded periodically throughout the school year.

Interactive Notebook - Right Hand Page

Abraham Lincoln and Slavery

When Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, slavery was very popular throughout the southern United States. Lincoln was born in _______________ where slavery was legal at that time. Abraham Lincoln was always against slavery and during his life, he had a lot to say about it.

As Lincoln grew older he eventually moved to ___________ and was elected to the House of Representatives. In 1837, he first spoke out against slavery at a meeting of the state legislature. On June 16, 1858, Lincoln gave his famous "House Divided" speech. In it he said that the United States could not continue to be half slave and half ________.

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected _____________. Soon after his election, 11 states broke away from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. It would not be long before war broke out at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. The _______________ had begun!

The Civil War lasted ______ long years. On January 1, 1863, halfway through the war, Lincoln issued the ________________ _______________. This document said that slaves in the southern states were forever free.

On November 8, 1864, Lincoln was re-elected for another four years as president. He worked very hard to pass the 13 th Amendment which officially freed all _____. The amendment was passed on February 1, 1865. Only two months later, on April 9, 1865, General _____________ surrendered, ending the Civil War.

Now that the war was over, Lincoln could relax a little and take a much needed break. On the night of April 14, 1865, he and his wife decided to go see a play at Ford's _______ in Washington D.C. Halfway though the play, Abraham Lincoln was _____ by the actor John Wilkes Booth. He died at 7:22 the next morning.

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff socialoff