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Who Killed Abraham Lincoln?


Subject:U.S. History
Grade:6-8, 9-12

Featured Graphic Brief Description

Students read an original manuscript about the investigation of Lincoln's assassination, then work in groups to write and perform a play based on the story.



  • read for meaning,
  • work in cooperative groups,
  • write a play based on actual events,
  • perform a play.


Civil War, playwright, script, Abraham Lincoln, assassination

Materials Needed

computers with Internet access, Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Assassins (online or printed copies of the story), materials for costumes, makeup, and scenery (optional)

Lesson Plan

Have students explore the Web site Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Assassins, or provide students with printed copies of the relevant sections of the story. Discuss with students the events described, as well as any supplementary information and insights provided. Arrange students into four groups and assign each group one of the first four pages of the site. Have each group write one act (containing as many scenes as necessary) based on the events described in their assigned page. Combine the acts into a single play, and invite parents or students from another class to attend the performance.


Evaluate students on their language arts and public speaking skills, as well as their understanding of the events in the story.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

Social Sciences:

Language Arts:

Originally published 06/05/2000
Links last updated 03/28/2006