Mind behind the Mask: 3D Technology and the Portrayal of Abraham Lincoln

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 6/19/2015

Abraham Lincoln is typically portrayed as a gaunt, bearded man, both thoughtful and troubled. The story that goes along with this image is as familiar to Americans as any children’s fable. He was born in a log cabin. He became the 16th president. He freed the slaves and saved the Union. He was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. Yet this story asks more questions than it answers. Who was this individual who helped to define our country’s future through the force of his leadership and intellect?

Over one hundred and fifty years after his first inauguration, Abraham Lincoln is as much a puzzle today as he was to his contemporaries. The Mind behind the Mask invites students to immerse themselves in an investigation of Abraham Lincoln, how he has been portrayed, and what the availability of three dimensional (3-D) data can bring to the study of history.

The e-book challenges students to deepen their understanding through a combination of historical content and classroom activities involving interactive primary sources and drama-based explorations. Using knowledge gained in these activities and video-based technology instruction, students grapple with an essential question—How should Abraham Lincoln be portrayed?—and they offer answers through creating their own portrayals using 3-D technology.