All about the Lincoln Memorial


All about the Lincoln Memorial introduces students to some foundational knowledge about this historic monument. Students will learn about its significance and gather interesting facts.

There are many suggestions listed in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page that you can use as additions or alternatives for the lesson. One such option is to have students create a new memorial or monument to honor Lincoln. Students could also create 3D models of the Lincoln Memorial. Another idea is to have students research the individuals who designed the memorial and present their findings to the class. You could also obtain copies of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and compare it to some of Lincoln’s speeches.

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What All about the Lincoln Memorial includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: All about the Lincoln Memorial teaches students about this famous monument and its significance. Students will be able to identify the memorial and list interesting facts. By the end of the lesson, they will be able to summarize its history. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, the supplies you will need include colored pencils, scratch paper, construction or poster paper, internet access, dictionaries, and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can gather the supplies, copy the handouts, pair the students for the activity, and find an image of Lincoln for the lesson opening.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One additional activity you can have students do is create a new memorial or monument to celebrate Lincoln. You can also have them create a 3D model of the Lincoln Memorial. Another idea is to have someone who has actually visited the memorial visit your class and speak to your students about that experience. Students can also do research on the various designers of the memorial and present what they’ve learned in a report or as a presentation to the class. Students, especially younger students, can also create an acrostic poem using the letters in “Lincoln Memorial,” including text that describes Lincoln’s values and beliefs. Finally, you can have students compare MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech with some of Lincoln’s speeches.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


The Lincoln Memorial

This lesson includes four pages of content. First, the lesson states that there are many memorials, statues buildings, monuments, sculptures, and more in the United States, but that one of the most significant and recognizable ones is called the Lincoln Memorial. Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is home to this landmark. Many people worked to build it in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President.

Students will learn that, although the idea to create a monument for Lincoln was first proposed in 1867, it wasn’t until 1914 that construction began. They selected a man named Henry Bacon, who was an architect in New York, to design it. The Parthenon, an ancient Greek temple, actually inspired his design! A sculptor named Daniel Chester French designed the actual statue of Lincoln inside the memorial. Jules Guerin created the large, 60-foot murals found inside, and architectural sculptor Ernest C. Bairstow carved the exterior details. So many people contributed to the design and creation of the memorial!

Students will then learn that the memorial was under construction for eight years, from 1914 to 1922. President William Howard Taft and Robert Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son, dedicated and opened the memorial on March 30th, 1922.

Lincoln and Other Interesting Facts

Next, students will learn some more about Lincoln and his accomplishments. They likely already know that he is most famous for his role in leading the country during the Civil War and for abolishing slavery. Next, they’ll learn about his upbringing in Kentucky and Indiana, and about his early political career. They will then learn about his journey to becoming president and his role in the Civil War. The people of the U.S. first elected him president in 1861 and reelected him in 1864. John Wilkes Boothe assassinated him in 1865, less than a month after the official end of the Civil War.

We remember Abraham Lincoln for the way that he led the country during the Civil War and for his role in ending slavery. Another important achievement of his is his Gettysburg Address, which is considered to be one of the most important speeches in history! They actually carved some of the words and phrases from the Gettysburg Address into the walls of the memorial. They also carved some other important words behind the sculpture of Lincoln. These words inform visitors that they built the memorial so that the people of the United States and the world would remember Lincoln and his accomplishments forever.

The final page of lesson material lists some interesting Lincoln Memorial facts! Students will discover that the memorial shows Lincoln facing the reflection pool and the Washington Monument and that the sculpture of Lincoln in the monument weighs 175 tons! They will also learn that there was a typo — they originally spelled “Future” as “Euture” on the memorial before it was corrected. And they will discover that around 6 million people visit the Lincoln Memorial every year.

Key Terms

Here is a list of the vocabulary words students will learn in this lesson plan:

  • Henry Bacon: the architect who was chosen to design the memorial in the early 1900s
  • Daniel Chester French: the sculptor who designed the 19-foot statue of Lincoln found in the memorial
  • Jules Guerin: the man who directed the memorial’s interior with two large murals
  • Ernest C. Bairstow: the architectural sculptor who carved the exterior details of the monument


The All about the Lincoln Memorial lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


Students will work with a partner during this activity, though you may choose to have students work alone or in groups instead if you wish. The activity worksheet displays 12 empty boxes with terms from the text on the Lincoln Memorial. Students will review the words and think of images that they could use that represent each term. They will use the blank space to create a rough draft. Finally, they will create a final draft on a poster board. They can use a dictionary or the internet if they need to clarify the terms.


The practice worksheet has two sections. The first section requires students to review 10 different dates and numbers. Students must determine how these numbers are significant as they relate to either Lincoln or the memorial. The second section requires them to review MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and explain why he chose to deliver it at the Lincoln Memorial. There are several other questions in these instructions for students to answer in their explanation.


For the homework assignment, students will answer 20 questions related to the lesson material. Then they will answer a short-answer question at the bottom of the worksheet that asks them what they would want included in a memorial to themselves!

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. No answer key is provided for the activity worksheet because students’ answers will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


Social Studies


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.