Emancipation Proclamation Teacher’s Toolkit

Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with your students!  Explore our toolkit for resources and activities to help teach the Emancipation Proclamation in your classroom.  (Compiled and created by the Ohio Civil War 150 Advisory Committee.)

(Thanks to John Cooper, the Lincoln in the video.)

Emancipation Documents

Through this collection of primary source documents, students can learn the history of emancipation from the first confiscation act, stating that slave owners had no claim to their slaves, through the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery in the United States.

Transcript of the 1st Confiscation Act

Transcript of the 2nd Confiscation Act

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (Source: Library of Congress, Abraham Lincoln Papers)

Transcript of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation  (Source: National Archives, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=34)

Transcript of the Emancipation Proclamation

13th amendment (Source: National Archives, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=40)

Transcript of the 13th amendment

Understanding the Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation Activities

Emancipation Stories from the WPA Slave Narratives

The narratives excerpted here come from two collections, The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920  at the Ohio Historical Society and Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938  at the Library of Congress.  From reading these narratives, students can learn about how slaves found out about emancipation, how their masters reacted to emancipation, and what newly freed slaves chose to do next.          

Disclaimer: Some narratives may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a period or place. The Civil War 150 Advisory Committee is presenting these items as part of the historical record. The Civil War 150 Advisory Committee does not endorse the views expressed in these materials.  Some full narratives may contain descriptions of brutality and/or sexual exploitation.  Some narratives are written in dialect and may be hard to read.  Use your judgment in choosing selections appropriate for your students.  For more information, see “A Note on the Language of the Narratives”  from the Library of Congress. 

Excerpts from the WPA Narratives

WPA Slave Narratives Activity

Emancipation Images

Students can see some of the ways the Emancipation Proclamation was viewed at the time.

Emancipation Image Analysis Sheet

Ohio Connections

Through these newspaper articles, students can learn how residents of Oberlin, Ohio received the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.  All articles come from the January 7, 1863 edition of the Lorain County News.

Article 1- How We Received It

Article 2 – Report of Jubilee Meeting

Article 3 – Song Of Freedom and Father Keeps Gift

Supplemental Booklist for Libraries and Schools

 This booklist includes titles on the Emancipation Proclamation and related topics.  They are grouped by general audience (children, teens, adults), and by grade level. Unless noted, the titles are in print and should be available for purchase from publishers or book retailers. Also ask at your public, school, college, or university library.  The library may own the book you request, or be able to obtain it for you from another library.  Find your local public library using the Ohio Public Library Information Network’s Find-a-Library tool: http://www.oplin.org/fal/

Supplemental Booklist

Mapping the Emancipation Proclamation

A lesson plan created by the Ohio Historical Society where students can learn which states the Emancipation Proclamation effected.  Suitable for grade 4 and up.

Map Lesson Plan

Other Resources

NEH Emancipation Resource Portal

John Cooper, Abraham Lincoln Presenter

(740) 862-6373