Abraham Lincoln's Responsibility

6, 7, 8

Students examine the consequences of Abraham Lincoln's responsible decisions. The introduction of the concept of common good adds a dimension to the benefit/consequences of taking responsibility.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • read a passage about Abraham Lincoln.
  • analyze the responsibility demonstrated.
  • reflect on the consequences of his decisions and actions.
  • Student copies of Handout One: Abraham Lincoln, including the questions at the bottom of the page

Wikipedia. Abraham Lincoln. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

Biography.com. Abraham Lincoln. https://www.biography.com/us-president/abraham-lincoln



  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to share some descriptive words for Abraham Lincoln. These words may describe his appearance, character, or what he is known for. Write words on the board proposed by students that describe his responsible character.

  2. Teacher: You already know quite a bit about our 16th president. These words on the board describe a man who cared very much about doing the right thing for this country. His responsible contributions are the reason he is honored as one of our most important presidents. What were some of the roles and goals that Abraham Lincoln was responsible for? (List student examples on the board, such as commanding the army and freeing the slaves.)

  3. Tell the students to read Handout One: Abraham Lincoln and be ready to discuss how Abraham Lincoln dealt with responsibility and its consequences. (Alternatively, the teacher may read the handout aloud or students may read together in small groups.)

  4. Either have the students write the answers to the questions at the bottom of the page or respond orally.

  5. Discuss the idea that taking responsibility for the common good [promoting the welfare of the community] has consequences. Discuss the consequences for Lincoln's actions.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Identify the business, government, family, and civil society sectors.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.