What Do Students Think of When Someone Mentions Abraham Lincoln?

Here is a great teaching exercise:

Michael Lynch gets to teach a course on Abraham Lincoln that all incoming freshman are required to take?  I guess this kind of thing can only happen at Lincoln Memorial University.

Lynch asks his first-year students to write down five things they think of when they hear Lincoln’s name.  The most common response had to do with the assassination.  This was followed by comments on Lincoln’s height and the Emancipation Proclamation.  I was actually impressed that many of Lynch’s students knew that he was the sixteenth president.  Other answers mentioned had something to do with Lincoln’s beard, his stovepipe hat, his Kentucky roots (Lincoln Memorial University is in Harrogate, TN), and his association with the Civil War.

This would would great in a 9-12 classroom as well and you could also try it with other historical figures

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