GettyReady! A Lesson Plan for the Gettysburg Address 150th

October 22nd, 2013

We’ve just returned from the Long Island Council for the Social Studies 2013 conference, where our director, Cheryl Miller, led a session introducing our website and teaching resources as well as a (very quick!) close reading seminar on the Gettysburg Address. We had a terrific time — it’s always great to meet with dedicated and engaged educators. 

With the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address coming up on November 19, be sure to check out our close reading lesson plan by teacher Anne Continetti, based on remarks by WSPWH editor Leon Kass. The opening:

The Gettysburg Address has been memorized, recited, and admired. Countless scholars have discussed its rhetorical devices, literary merit, and political reception. But few have attended to the thought of Lincoln’s speech and the deeper purposes that it serves. People do recognize that this funeral oration, honoring Union dead in the battle that marked a turning point in the war against Southern rebellion, was even more clearly a summons to the living to prosecute to victorious conclusion a war that, despite the victory at Gettysburg, was not going well enough: “the great task remaining before us” is, first and foremost, the winning of the war. But few people see that the speech offers Lincoln’s reinterpretation of the American Founding, his understanding of the war as a test of that founding, and his own characterization of this nation now being reborn through passing that bloody test. Central to Lincoln’s declaration of America reborn is his own new, as-it-were baptismal, teaching on the relation between liberty and equality, crucial to our new birth of freedom. 

Extra: Watch Leon Kass deliver the remarks.

Leon Kass and Walter Berns discuss Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” from What So Proudly We Hail on Vimeo.

P.S. Interested in having What So Proudly We Hail at your educator conference? Email us at cheryl [a] 

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