Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Gettysburg Address according to kids

"Why is it important to treat each other equally?" was the question posed to my students this past week, in light of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

It was a much shorter lesson than I wanted, but I still felt it was important that they be exposed to this information and try to understand it enough to make a connection to their own lives.

First, we read through the actual speech with partners, to see what they could decipher on their own. We then listened to the speech from this youtube clip as we followed along while re-reading.

After listening to it, we talked about some of the words which they had questioned: consecrate, dedicate, fourscore and 7 years ago, forefathers, and the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

Then we read through a paraphrased version of the Gettysburg Address, from this site:
Gettysburg Address for Kids which prompted more discussion on how this still has meaning for us today.

After all of this, we actually watched the above video, with helpful visuals to ground what they had just begun to understand about the scale of the fighting, and how it looked back then.

Many of the kids related the concept of not treating each other equally to bullying, and to an extent, began to realize how small disagreements can lead to something far bigger. It was interesting to see the range of understanding, evident in their short-answer responses.

"I(t) is important important to treat each other equally becuse many years ago
the slaves were not treated equally. That caused civil war and ma(n)y people
died. Abraham Lincoln made a speech so we can treat each other equally." J.V.

"It is important to treat each other equally because 150 years ago the South
and Noth had a civil war. Abram Lincon was giving a speech to honor alot
of men and women who fought for life and died. Today, if we treat people
equally, we help them."  by: Rossilyn
How do you think the Gettysburg Address is still important today? Do you agree with these responses? Can you add more?

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