[dropcap type=”4″]F[/dropcap]ifth grade students in Mrs. Susannah Johnson’s classes at Moriches Elementary School recently completed a unique class project – investigating the assassination of the nation’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, who was shot the evening of April 14, 1865, and died the following morning.
The students examined various pieces of evidence including police reports, excerpts from testimonies, letters from witnesses, as well as videos that showed re-enactments of the events of that fateful day more than 150 years ago. They also viewed videos and read biographies about the conspirators involved and created a “crime board” which served as a central location for notes, evidence and pictures of each suspect.
“The crime board was fun and brought the project to life,” said student Alyssa Dingman. “We felt like real detectives!” Fellow student Cheyenne Dennis-Daniels echoed her enthusiasm, “I enjoyed learning more about this event – that it wasn’t just John Wilkes Booth, but a whole team.” Jaden Jones and Daved Richardson agreed that the videos provided facts that were not in the evidence and a visual of how the events played out.
Upon completion of their investigation, students then determined whether each suspect was guilty or innocent. They also decided the crimes that each committed, whether it was the actual assassination, an attempted assassination or conspiracy. In the end, the students agreed the accused were guilty of planning and carrying out the assassination of President Lincoln and treason against the United States of America.
“I was impressed with the excitement and enthusiasm the students had about this project,” said Mrs. Johnson.