Program Ideas for Younger Audiences

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War
Site Support Notebook

  • Plan a program showing middle grades how to use primary sources in historical research.

  • Hold story time sessions for young people using books about Lincoln and his contemporaries (see book list for younger readers for examples).

  • Develop a teen poetry slam. Teens write and perform poems that creatively express thoughts and raise awareness of issues related to freedom.

  • Engage young people in hands-on activities during their exhibition visit. For example, allow young people to touch and discuss reproductions of artifacts. Invite them to write a postcard to Abraham Lincoln—on the reverse side of the postcard, have young people draw or collage a historical event. With permission, put completed postcards on display in your library.

  • Collaborate with a local debating team or public speaking organization to create policy debate opportunities for high school students.

  • Enlist a Teen Advisory Board to help plan and promote "Lincoln" programs for young adults.

  • Partner with a local children’s museum on programs about the Civil War and Lincoln.

  • Create a documentary shorts contest. Teach youth video production software and invite them to explore exhibition themes via images and sound.

  • Include a title for young people in the Forever Free “One Book, One Community” series.

  • “Lincoln Loved Books, Too,” bedtime stories at the library for the younger set.

  • Sponsor essay contests: “What Would Lincoln Think About the World Today?” “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me?”

  • Play children’s games from the Civil War era (see list of Web sites for ideas).

  • Family activity night at the library with stories and songs about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War