Assassination - Part 2 - Common Core for the Civil War

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


This story won first place in the Saturday Writer’s 2020 Anything for Children short fiction contest.

After President Lincoln’s death, Booth fled to ignominy and the nation united in grief. Immerse your students in those events with this scripted reading.

No event in our history was more important or more traumatic than the assassination of President Lincoln. By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events historians have detailed, I’ve created what I hope is a dynamic narrative 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. Also - 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 also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to enhance and accompany Booth Shot President Lincoln. You’ll recognize both the cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching techniques incorporated in the activities.

If you and your students enjoy this story, 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: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C4ZH1VU

Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


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