This lesson is designed to have students analyze primary sources in order to develop an opinion on Abraham Lincoln's motives for creating the Emancipation Proclamation.(If students are struggling, the two main theories to present them with are, "Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation because he truly believed ending slavery was the right thing to do" and "Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation out of military necessity to win the Civil War.")
Students will need background knowledge on the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation before beginning the lesson. (Make sure they know the timeline of the Civil War and they focus on the year that each source was created!)
This is always one of my first lessons of the year, and my students really buy into the controversial presentation of the topic.