Teach PA History
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Public Views of Lincoln
What to Know
Teaching Time
Seven 45-minute sessions
Grade Level
Elementary School
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
Historical Period
  • Civil War and Reconstruction - 1856-1876
This lesson will give students an overview of how the public viewed Abraham Lincoln and how those views changed based on the moments in history in which Lincoln found himself. Students will interpret political cartoons and images of Lincoln before his inauguration, during his presidency, during the Civil War, and after his assassination. They will create letters written in Abraham Lincoln's voice, in which he responds to the cartoons published about him.


Students will: 1. Analyze and interpret political cartoons about Abraham Lincoln. 2. Identify historical context of each cartoon. 3. Hypothesize how public opinion influenced each cartoon. 4. Speculate how Lincoln would respond to these public opinions about him. 5. Formulate a written response to political cartoonists.

Standards Alignment

  • Arts and Humanities

    9.2.5. E. Analyze how historical events and culture impact forms, techniques and purposes of works in the arts.

  • History

    8.1.6. B. Explain and analyze historical sources.
    8.1.6. C. Explain the fundamentals of historical interpretation.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.2.3. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.
    1.4.5. C. Write persuasive pieces with a clearly stated position or opinion and supporting detail, citing sources when needed.
    1.5.5. B. Write using well-developed content appropriate for the topic.

Back to Top