Time to Think:

ʺThat on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”           
~Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation

What was the purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation?  
Many people say the Emancipation Proclamation showed great leadership.  Why do so many say that it did not free a single slave?
The Civil War ended in 1865. Why did Lincoln decide to free the slaves before the war even ended?
Who does the Emancipation Proclamation exclude from freedom and why?
How do you think this Proclamation was received by a Southerner during the Civil War? A Northerner? A slave from a Confederate state? A slave from a border state?

Action Activities:
Short: Read the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Medium: Read and compare Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural Address.
Long: Write a newspaper article, journal entry or letter to the editor describing a reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation.  Write from the perspective of someone living at the time.