The Lincoln-Douglas Debates — Springboard to the White House

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates saw two primary political candidates debating seven different times about one of the most important social movements in United States history. Middle and high schoolers read an article that describes the Lincoln and Douglas debates through words, pictures, and a map of the electoral college. Working in pairs, scholars read statements from Douglas during the debates and use what they learn from the text to provide a counterargument from Lincoln's view point.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Some additional information, or reminders, about the political climate of the United States during the time period may prove helpful to class members
  • Discuss the Constitution and Slavery section as a warm-up activity for the article and activities
Classroom Considerations
  • Contains some sensitive topics
  • Helps scholars understand different perspectives during the debates
  • Fosters a collaborative environment and teaches social skills
  • Engages critical thinking skills and higher depths of knowledge with the questions pupils answer after reading the article
  • None