Mr. Lincoln's Attic III: Can a Letter Change History?by by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Subject English/Language Arts, Social Studies
I. Show Letters & Photos
Have students read Grace's letter to Lincoln, and Lincoln's response.
Show students the photos of Lincoln without a beard and with a beard.
(Both the letters and the photos are located in a downloadable pdf.)
II. Discussion Questions
- How can a letter change history?
- Why do you think Lincoln was persuaded by Grace’s letter?
- What famous person would you like to write to and what would you say in your letter?
- Do you write letters? How often and to whom?
- Do you receive letters? From whom? Do you keep them? Why? Where do you keep them?
- How might you express yourself differently in a letter than in person?
- Grace Bedell's original letter in her own handwriting is located in the Detroit Public Library. How might the use of email, telephones and text messaging impact future historians and collectors?
Have students write a letter to:
- A friend
- A relative
- A public official
- A soldier
- A celebrity
- A role model
- A newspaper