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Lincoln Seminar

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S: Galesburg High School

BC: Celebrating the Life of America's 16th President Lincoln Seminar 2008-2009 "I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal." - Abraham Lincoln, 1858

FC: Lincoln Seminar 2008-2009

1: Abraham Lincoln's Bicentennial "Now he belongs to the ages." | Sixteen students have dedicated themselves to examining the life and legacy of the man that historians have named America's greatest president. We share our journey into history with you.

2: The summer began with a trip to New Salem where Abraham Lincoln settled during his early adult life. Students met inhabitants who explained their daily life and reflected on their connections to Lincoln.

3: We strolled around the village photographing and interviewing the residents. Each cabin offered an opportunity to learn about the everyday life of the 1800s.

4: Knox College houses a collection of artifacts and scholarly works connected to Lincoln. We met with noted Lincoln scholar, Rod Davis. | Lincoln Seminar students toured the library and special collections area. Several took advantage of the invitation to touch the face of Lincoln.

5: Refected in glass, students view a collection of books Lincoln read as a young man. Knox College was the site of a Lincoln Douglas debate that was re-enacted in October of 2008.

6: Hope Cemetery offers a testimony to the dedication of the town's founders. Local historian Harry Buckeley described the difficult journey made by settlers who followed Rev. Gale, an abolitionist. Among the graves, we found a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

9: Fall was full of activity with guest speakers, shirt designs, research and presentations. Tom Foley showed samples of his photography taken at New Salem during the summer trip. Owen Muelder described the plight of escaped slaves and their abolishionist supporters. Bruce Polay discussed the works of Stephen Foster and invited the class to a symphony performance. We all began researching our special isterests.

10: Self-Made in America A traveling exhibit of Lincoln artifacts came to Galesburg. We had an opportunity to see replicas of important documents and items such as the bloodstained gloves that Lincoln wore to the theater on the night of his assassination.

12: Lincoln Douglas Debates In October, the two candidates appeared in class to take on questions from the students.

13: Lincoln posed for photos and everyone enjoyed the refreshments which included miniature Lincoln hats. During the weekend, Knox College hosted a re-enactment on the historic site. General Grant showed up to view the results.

14: Classroom Strategies Skits, discussions, research, and posters helped us understand concepts of the era. As the term closed, we said goodbye to our Knox College student teacher, Mr. Giese, with a photo cake.

15: Lincoln's rivals included Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and William Henry Seward. Lincoln was helped by his speech before a zealous crowd of more than fifteen hundred people at Cooper Union in 1860. | Team of Rivals Lincoln recruited several opponents for his cabinet. Four instructors took on the roles of those candidates during a simulation of the Republican convention battle.

16: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

19: Lincoln's hometown We visited Springfield to view the Presidential museum and have a lesson from Dr. Bishop on Lincoln and race relations. We gathered several souvenirs as well as our insights on the president.

20: Merry Christmas! Santa dropped by to visit the Lincoln Seminar class. We each drew names for a secret Santa. Several gifts had a highly personal touch.

21: Simulations let us experience the trials and tribulations of others. We tried to make wise decisions about using Confederate money. We watched the first half of Gone with the Wind. | We sampled Southern foods such as Uncle Billy's peanuts.

22: An Historic Moment - The Inauguration of Barack Obama We were together for the ceremony on Jan. 20th.

23: Giving Back to the Community Our focus for the second semester included an opportunity to create projects for others. | We used various types of technology including videos and SmartBoards to convey our insights about history.

24: February 11-12 Lincoln's Birthday Celebration We attended "Let Freedom Sing" on the first night of the trip. | We were impressed by the many ways people showed their pride in Lincoln. At the concert, banners decorated the hall.

25: At Lincoln's Tomb, Governor Pat Quinn arrived to lay a wreath. Several class members were interviewed by a Chicago television station.

26: During the afternoon, we browsed the city of Springfield and toured Lincoln's home.

28: The Birthday Ball | A cheesecake in the shape of Lincoln's home was brought into the hall. The band played as guests marched into the center. | Everyone was invited to join the opening ceremony.

29: Guests joined in the dancing that was explained by a caller. She described the steps before each dance and provided historical background. Dancers could also partake of cake and punch in the cafe.

30: Community Guests Knox College welcomed well-known historians and speakers to the community and we had the opportunity to attend the public meetings. Civil War historians Allen C. Guelzo and James M. McPherson spoke at the Lincoln Douglas Debate Conference in October. Hip Hop historian Bakari Kitwana lectured in March. Students from the Lincoln Seminar attended both events. (Photos by permisison of Knox College.)

31: Gettysburg A chorus sings soldiers' songs. from North and South. | Prof. Matthew Norman of Gettysburg College shared insights on the battle. He helped transcribe thousands of Lincoln documents in the Library of Congress. | Civil War Monument - Galesburg honored its soldiers with a statue dedication delivered by Robert Lincoln in 1896.

32: Lincoln Legacy Winner Jennifer Wilson | Jennifer Wilson was awarded second place in the Creative Arts Division of the Lincoln Legacy Contest sponsored by the University of Illinois in Springfield. She wwas honored at a conference April 4-5, 2009. Various Lincoln items were on display at the university.

33: The Rotary Luncheon Members of the Lincoln Seminar class were guests of the Rotary Club on March 5, 2009. | Students sat with Rotary members to discuss the various activities that the class did during the year. Several students presented a program using SmartBoard technology.

34: Our American Cousin The class had the opportunity to meet Bill Wallace, the director of the Orpheum production of Our American Cousin, the play Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated. Students saw the director's copy of the script and interviewed him prior to seeing the production. | The Lincoln party is seated. | The hero meets his sweetheart. | Photos from Monmouth College

35: In the play, a villain has hidden the true story of who should inherit the wealth of a British family. The American cousin will uncover the truth and save the day. | The comedy was the 1,000th performance of Laura Keene in tthe role that made her famous.

36: Giving Back to the Community | During the second semester, students prepared Lincoln inspired projects. | Students taught classes, created tourism items, and spoke before church and civic groups.

38: End of an Era... As the year closed, students learned about the election of 1864 and they shared insights about Lincoln's legacy. | Students created political campaign items and displayed them on a bulletin board. They also planned a closing dinner with a soul food theme for the final week.

39: Closing Days We worked together to record our experiences for ourselves and for future classes.

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  • By: Sheryl H.
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  • Title: Lincoln Seminar
  • High school students study Abraham Lincoln for an entire school year.
  • Tags: galesburg, high school, history, illinois, lincoln, social studies
  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: over 7 years ago

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