History Crime Scene Investigation: Abraham Lincoln Assassination CSI

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Want a great way for students to engage in a group activity while they examine eyewitness testimony, artifacts, primary sources, and solve a historical mystery? Download The Abraham Lincoln Assassination CSI!

This exciting activity can be used to challenge individual students or to encourage collaboration in groups of up to five. Students form CSI teams and examine real evidence from Ford's Theater to determine what happened to President Lincoln and who was responsible. While it is easy to determine who killed Lincoln, this CSI focuses on getting the students to piece together the events of the night and make solid connections to the evidence. It's a great way to encourage students to support historical arguments with relevant sources. It is also a great first step in teaching students how to write well thought out answers to document based questions and essays.

This set includes everything you need to run a 1 - 2 class period CSI investigation. It contains the following:

- A CSI Crime Report with instructions that students complete as a group.

- A Final Report with in depth questions and analysis.

- Evidence exhibits straight from primary sources (eyewitness testimony straight from the subsequent assassination trial, a medical autopsy report of Lincoln's body, pictures of the actual physical evidence including the gun, knife and bullet used in the assassination, and detailed reward posters published in the week following).

This activity supports higher level thinking and encourages students to view history as a fun investigation, all while being respectful to the memories of those involved in this terrible, but thought-provoking national tragedy.
to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
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