If you’re looking for some activities to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday this weekend, want some material for your Presidents Day unit, or simply thinking ahead on activities for a Civil War unit, this post is for you. I’ve gathered materials on the ReadWriteThink site that fit three broad categories:
- Resources focused directly on Abraham Lincoln
- Biographical and historical materials you can use with Lincoln (or any famous person)
- Family activities that relate to Lincoln
The materials range from mini-lessons to complete units and cross the grade levels. So read on, and celebrate the president known as The Great Emancipator.
Focused on Lincoln
- Myth and Truth: The Gettysburg Address
By exploring myths and truths surrounding Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, secondary students think critically about commonly believed stories regarding this famous speech from the Civil War era.
- Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863
This calendar entry includes links to related resources and a classroom activity that has students practice the Pre-AP strategy called SOAPSTone, identifying important parts of the Gettysburg Address and comparing it with John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech.
- Abraham Lincoln establishes Thanksgiving Day
The classroom activity in this calendar entry focuses on the letter writing campaign of Sarah Hale and on Lincoln’s role in establishing Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November.
- Engaging Students in a Collaborative Exploration of the Gettysburg Address
In small groups, elementary students closely examine one sentence from the Gettysburg Address and create a multigenre project communicating what they have discovered about the meaning and significance of the text.
- Celebrate Juneteenth!
Sure, it’s still February, but you can still talk about Juneteenth, a celebration of the day in 1865 that word of Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves, made its way to the state of Texas
- Thinkfinity’s Abraham Lincoln Collection
Find more resources for teaching about Abraham Lincoln in this Thinkfinity collection, which draws on resources from all Thinkfinity partners.
Biographies and History
- Guided Comprehension in Action: Teaching Summarizing With the Bio-Cube
Middle-level students learn the ins and outs of writing biographies by researching a contemporary or historical figure and writing a summary.
- A Biography Study: Using Role-Play to Explore Authors’ Lives
Secondary students read biographies and explore websites of selected American authors and then role-play as the authors. Adapt this lesson to ask students to consider Lincoln, as the author of the Gettysburg Address and other speeches.
- Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life
Elementary students explore a number of sources to create a biographical timeline about a selected person. Students collaboratively research and resolve conflicting information they find during their investigation.
- Acrostic Poems
Have students write acrostic poems about Lincoln or events from his life with the Acrostic Poem tool.
- A Tribute to Abraham Lincoln
Podcaster Emily Manning presents three very different books about Lincoln and hosts a roundtable discussion with the authors of these books to delve deeper into Lincoln’s remarkable life. This is Episode 11 of Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers, a Podcast for Grades K–5.
- Where Was Abraham Lincoln Born?
At home, families can explore details about Abraham Lincoln’s first home with this activity from our partners at Wonderopolis.
- Parent Guide: Send a Lincoln Letter
Children read Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers then write and mail a letter like a character in the book in this activity from our partner Smithsonian’s History Explorer. A Teacher’s Guide is also included.
- Abraham Lincoln Bio Cubes
Families and children can gather or summarize information about Abraham Lincoln with the Bio Cube interactive.
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