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Classroom Connections

Students become historians with the ALPLM Classroom Connections Program, which offers structured research opportunities using primary documents from the Library collections. The program includes a self-guided tour of the Presidential Museum.

ALPLM Education Division staff will lead these hands-on sessions in the Library classroom using reproduction documents and artifacts from the ALPLM collection.

Teachers may choose one of the following sessions:

19th Century Kids

What was it like to grow up in the 19th century?  Find out in this exploration of school, work and play.  Daily chores, blab schools, games and entertainment will be just some of the topics covered through primary documents from the ALPLM collections.  Grade Level 4-6

Exploring History through Newspapers on Microfilm

In this hands-on experience, students will research events that shaped Illinois history (such as the Cherry Mine disaster of 1908, or the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, race riots in 1908 and 1917) or pick an historic event or person and compare coverage in small, middle-sized or large cities in Illinois or even in their hometown newspaper.   Grade Level 5-12

Tracking the Underground Railroad

Neither underground nor a railroad, the Underground Railroad was a network to freedom for slaves.  Students will be introduced to the origin of the Railroad, its routes, and stories of some of those who were passengers, conductors, or station masters on this freedom train.  Students will also learn how historians and researchers determined if reported Railroad activity actually existed in various communities.  Grade Level 4-12

Life of a Soldier

Learn about the life of a Civil War soldier while getting up close and personal with reproduction artifacts.  Students will analyze reproduction artifacts including objects, primary documents, images and more.  Grade Level 4-6

Perspectives of the Civil War

Working in small groups, students will examine and evaluate photographs, letters and diary entries of Civil War soldiers.  Grade Level 6-12

Women of the Civil War

Learn about how women of the Civil War served as soldiers, nurses, spies, and those who kept the home fires burning for both the Union and Confederacy.  Using photographs, letters and diaries, students will examine the many roles women played in the Civil War and their impact on both sides.  Grade Level 4-6

Exhibit Impressions

Exhibit Impressions will begin with a 15 minute orientation and “assignment” given by ALPM staff in the library classroom. Student groups will tour the Museum with an Impression Web worksheet where they will explore one pre-selected Museum exhibit in depth. They will evaluate how story concepts, characters, emotion, lighting, and sound are combined to form dynamic and moving exhibit presentations.  Students will then reconvene in the classroom to discuss and compare their evaluations.   Grade Level 6-12

Other information for a successful visit:

Please see the Plan Your School Visit section of our website to make the most of your visit to the ALPLM. School groups visiting the Museum as part of the Classroom Connection Program will be held to the same rules and regulations as regular school tours, including our chaperone policy of 1 chaperone per 10 students. Additional chaperones will be required to purchase a ticket on the day or the tour.

It is strongly suggested that teachers make a pre-visit to the Library/Museum prior to bringing students for a Classroom Connections session and Museum tour. Download the free Educator Pass.

Lunch is not provided as part of the Classroom Connection Program. Classes may bring a sack lunch or box lunches may be ordered directly from SUBWAY® by calling 217/523-2247. The cost of a box lunch ranges from $6.25 to $7.25. There are also numerous restaurants in the downtown area and picnic facilities available at Union Square Park directly across from the Museum.

Available Session Dates: (Any of the programs above may be conducted on the dates given below.)

Winter/Spring 2013
January 9 and January 23
February 13 and February 27
March 13 and March 27
April 10 and April 24
May 8 and May 22

Advanced Registration Required:
Registration for each date will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited to one class or a combined class of no more than 35 students.

Contact Carol Manning at or 217/558-8929 to register. There is no charge for the Classroom Connection Program or accompanying Museum tour. However, a refundable deposit of $50.00 is required to hold a program date. This deposit will be returned on the day of program. Please make checks payable to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and send to Carol Manning at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 North Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Do not send cash.

For more information contact Carol Manning at or 217/558-8929.