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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Write Your Own Emancipation Proclamation

July 24, 2008

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

4 th Grade

Social Studies

2 or 3 45-minute blocks

15 students


After discussing Lincoln and slavery, students will learn about the Emancipation Proclamation and what significance it had.

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.

NYS ELA #3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.


Students will demonstrate understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation by rewriting it in their own words.

Students will create their own version of the Emancipation Proclamation based on the topic of freeing themselves from homework.


Copy of the Emancipation Proclamation (one for each student)

Chart paper and markers

Paper and pencils

Interactive Notebook


Abraham Lincoln. 1863. "Emancipation Proclamation."

Preparation of Learning Environment

Student will work as a whole class to "translate" the Emancipation Proclamation." They will then work independently to write their own document.

Anticipatory Set

Lead the class in a discussion about what it means to be free.


1) Hand out copies of the Emancipation Proclamation. Glue it in Interactive Notebook. Allow a few minutes for them to look over it.

2) As a class go through the document one line at a time and discuss its meaning. When all are agreed rewrite the sentence in their own words on chart paper. Students will copy it on the left side of their notebooks.

3) Students will then work independently to write an "Emancipation Proclamation from Homework." They need to include 3 reasons why homework is not necessary or harmful.

4) Finished pieces will be displayed in hallway.


Struggling students will be given the choice to work independently or work in a group with the teacher to write the homework piece.


Interactive notebooks will be graded periodically throughout the quarter. The teacher will also conference with each student to go over the piece of writing and edit/correct mistakes.

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