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Hands-on history

'Lincoln Legacy Learning Kits' available from Illinois public libraries and historic sites

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[September 04, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- Educators: Unzip a blue suitcase and bring history to life. That's the purpose of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's Lincoln Legacy Learning Kits, available free of charge to any school or public library in Illinois through the statewide inter-library loan system and numerous Illinois historic sites.

InsuranceThrough a grant from the Illinois State Library, 40 of these learning kits, targeted to grades five through eight, may be borrowed from designated public libraries and historic sites throughout the state. The kits are waiting to provide hands-on history to Illinois teachers, home-schools and the public. Kit contents are contained inside an easily transportable wheeled tote with a curriculum guide, activity booklet, laminated images, reproduction artifacts, hands-on materials, books, posters and other items pertaining to the topic. The four kits are the Abraham Lincoln Biography Reading Kit, Mary Todd Lincoln Kit, Civil War Soldiers Kit and Slavery in Illinois Kit.


The kits are available through any Illinois public library by using the inter-library loan system and are physically located at the following public library systems:

  • Alliance Library System, East Peoria

  • Chicago Public Library System, Chicago

  • DuPage Library System, Geneva

  • Lewis & Clark Library System, Edwardsville

  • Lincoln Trail Library System, Champaign

  • Metropolitan Library System, Burr Ridge

  • North Suburban Library System, Wheeling

  • Rolling Prairie Library System, Decatur

  • Shawnee Library System, Carterville

Kits may also be checked out at the following sites:

  • Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second St., Springfield

  • Old State Capitol State Historic Site, Sixth and Adams, Springfield

  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site, 426 S. Seventh, Springfield

  • Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield

  • Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna

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The ALPLM Education Division developed each kit, and teachers who have tested them in Illinois classrooms have reported great success. The kits address the need for integrated curriculum by combining social studies topics with language arts, reading, writing, fine arts, mathematics, geography and science by showcasing documents and artifacts from the ALPLM's collections and those of Lincoln historic sites across Illinois.

Although more than 70,000 students per year visit the ALPLM and Springfield-area Lincoln sites, the Lincoln Legacy Learning Kits can reach thousands more students who may not have the opportunity to visit these sites on a school-sponsored tour. These kits may also be used for public lectures and presentations.

For information about other educational programs offered by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit and click on "Teacher Resources."

[Text from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum news release]


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