Choose a new unit
About ClassZone  |  eServices  |  Web Research Guide  |  Contact Us  |  Online Store
ClassZone Home
McDougal Littell Home
The Language of Literature, Grade 8
Home > The Language of Literature, Grade 8 > Unit 5 > Talk Show: Lincoln's Life
Return to book index Unit 5 : American Voices
Talk Show: Lincoln's Life

from Lincoln: A Photobiography
Talk Show: Lincoln's Life (p. 777)

If you had the opportunity to talk to Abraham Lincoln, what would you ask him? With a partner, create a talk show in which one of you plays the part of Abraham Lincoln and the other plays the host. Compose a list of questions to ask Lincoln and conduct the interview. The secret to asking good questions is good preparation. The tips below will help you get ready.

  • Research your subject. Knowing background about the person to whom you will be talking will help you get to the point in the interview.
  • Decide what you want to know. Narrow your scope to a few topics that you want to hear more about. You might ask Lincoln about his early life and education, or about issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Ask the obvious. Don't avoid questions about which you are very curious because you're afraid they're not sophisticated enough. Chances are, the people reading or hearing your interview have the same question. For example, you might ask Lincoln if he was hurt that no one clapped for the Gettysburg Address.
  • Ask the not-so-obvious. One or two unexpected questions can enliven an interview and provide a different insight into the person you are interviewing. You could ask Lincoln what it was like living in the White House after growing up in a one-room log cabin, for example.

Start your research on Abraham Lincoln at these sites.

Abraham Lincoln Research Site Lincoln2.html
This award-winning Lincoln site contains many articles on little-known aspects of Lincoln's life.

Encyclopedia Americana: Abraham Lincoln presidents/ ea/ bios/ 16plinc.html
Encyclopedia Americana: Abraham Lincoln This online encyclopedia offers an extensive biography of America's sixteenth president, along with a "Quick Facts" reference page and the text of both of Lincoln's inaugural speeches.

American Experience: The Time of the Lincolns wgbh/ amex/ lincolns/ index.html
This PBS site explores all aspects of life in America at the time of Abraham Lincoln's presidency, and may help you decide which questions you'd like to ask in your interview. Follow both Union and Confederate soldiers into battle. Take virtual tours of Southern slave quarters and a U. S. Army medical tent. Read for yourself what politicians and newspapers of the day had to say about the president, and learn what living in the White House was like for Mary Todd Lincoln. Maps, timelines, primary source documents, video clips and virtual tours are just some of the resources available to you as you delve into Lincoln's life.