Assassination! - Part 1 - Common Core for the Civil War

Robert Walton
Grade Levels
8th - 11th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
9 pages
Robert Walton


Put your students in seats at Ford's Theater on the night Booth shot President Lincoln!

Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in this readers’ theater script that details the events of Lincoln's Assassination

No event in our history was more important or more traumatic than the assassination of President Lincoln. This unit’s goal is to make these crucial events clear and accessible to your students. I’ve based my unit’s narrative on Jim Bishop’s excellent book The Day Lincoln was Shot. By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I’ve created a readers’ theater script for you and your students.

I’ve found scripted readings to be powerful teaching tools. You may use this one as it’s written, or subdivide it further. I’ve found it quite dramatic to use alternating narrators. Changing voices at an important line can be very effective. Also, some of the parts might be assigned to a chorus of several students or the whole class. Doing this allows challenged readers to participate without pressure. Please DO experiment by subdividing the narration and by adding sound effects.

Further, if you have a group that’s dramatically inclined - you might take them on the road. Have them read for other classes, or take them into the office and read for the principal. The Flesch-Kincaid reading level of this script is 3.3. Its Flesch Reading ease score is 84%.

I’ve created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to enhance and accompany The Assassination of President Lincoln. You’ll recognize both the cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching techniques incorporated in the activities. I've posted these separately here on TPT.

Finally, if you and your students enjoy this unit, you might be interested in my YA Civil War novel Dawn Drums. I taught U.S History for many years and was frustrated by the narrow stories related by texts. There were no women, no freed slaves, no ordinary people of any sort. I found other sources, especially Norman Yetman’s Voices from Slavery, to use with my students. These other stories pushed me into writing about the War’s last year and telling about it through the words and experiences of Almira, Lulu and others. Here’s a Kindle link for Dawn Drums:


Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Report this Resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up