In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about Abraham Lincoln. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Abraham Lincoln topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Abraham Lincoln
Explain to your students that a biography is a book that tells all about a person. Biographies discuss a person’s childhood and their thoughts, dreams, successes, and even failures. They discuss important events in they person’s life and discuss important people in the person’s life. Divide your students into pairs and have them interview each other to write a mini-biography. You may want to brainstorm a list of questions for your students to ask each other first. After students write their mini-biographies, have them illustrate their books with pictures or photographs or create a collage for the cover of different items and hobbies their subject enjoys.
Presidents’ Day Party
In honor of Presidents’ Day in February, throw a birthday party for Abraham Lincoln. Students can dress up as the president by making beards out of cotton balls and hats out of construction paper. Have students discuss Abraham Lincoln’s achievements and the qualities of his character. The class can sing “Happy Birthday” to Lincoln and make plaques, monuments, or memorials to the president in class.
Together as a class, make a timeline of Abraham Lincoln’s life. If possible, pin a long piece of string around the classroom and write important dates along the string. Students can illustrate pictures and write short sentences that describe an important event in Abraham Lincoln’s life. Important dates include his birth, his marriage, the birth and death of his children, when he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, when he was elected president, when the Civil War started and ended, and his death.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Abraham Lincoln
If possible, visit a memorial that commemorates Abraham Lincoln. Many cities and towns have plaques or statues celebrating his life. Historical societies, museums, and libraries often have a painting of the president. Discuss how Lincoln changed the United States and how he worked to keep it together during a tumultuous time. If you do not have a memorial near you, have your child draw up plans for a memorial in your town or neighborhood. How would your child like to celebrate Lincoln’s life?
A hero or role model like Abraham Lincoln can be a positive force in a child’s life. Discuss the qualities of Abraham Lincoln or any person your child looks up to. What makes this person special? How does this person rise above the rest during tough times? How does this person solve problems, fight injustice, or bring people together? Have your children write a biography of his or her hero. Then select a day during the year where your child can commemorate this person, just as we celebrate President’s Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Land of Lincoln
We celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s life in many ways. His face appears on Mount Rushmore, the penny, and the five-dollar bill. He has a special memorial in Washington, D.C. and several cities and counties are named in his honor. Have your child look through encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, and maps to find cities and towns that are named after Abraham Lincoln and to find memorials to the president. Encourage your child to think about why there are so many memorials to this president.