Gettysburg Readdressed


Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address gets a modern makeover.


1. Read the 272-word Gettysburg Address. What did Lincoln's words mean to the country in 1863? Draft a contemporary Gettysburg Address, applying Lincoln's ideas to today's life. Use current language and situations.

2. Cut open a brown paper bag with Crayola® Scissors. Turn the bag so the inside faces up. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw light, evenly spaced lines on the bag. With Crayola Markers (NOT washable), neatly write your contemporary words for the Gettysburg Address. When the marker has dried, erase the pencil lines.

3. Cover a tabletop with recycled newspaper. Illustrate a scene from your speech with Crayola Watercolors and Paint Brushes.

4. To create an aged look, dampen the bag with water and a wet brush. Fill your brush with yellow, brown or gray diluted (very watery) black and apply color to the damp surface. Crumple the wet paper into a ball. Fasten with rubber bands and dry.

5. Remove the rubber bands and flatten your artwork. It will be an aged-looking Gettysburg Readdressed.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Learn more about life during the Civil War, and the reasons behind the battles. Make the times, people, and issues, come alive. Visit a battlefield to attend a reenactment. Trace marches on maps. Study how families were affected. Deliver the speech as you think Abraham Lincoln would have when he dedicated the cemetery.
  • Rewrite other historical documents, or parts of them, in contemporary terms.
  • Create an original document that you think should have been written, but wasn't. Write about an issue that's important to you, and identify the time period and context.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Share on Facebook


crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • brown paper grocery bag
  • paper towels
  • container(s) of water
  • rubber bands



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children study Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and learn about its historical significance.

  • Students apply concepts from the Gettysburg Address to contemporary situations.

  • Children write a creative, contemporary version of the Gettysburg Address.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards