Learning Lincoln On-line


Learning Like Abe--

How Abraham Lincoln as a boy, was Educated Activity-- Teacher Guide

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       Abraham Lincoln's life was not particularly unique.   More than one president was raised in a log cabin.  Some may have been raised in a sustenance lifestyle that resembles poverty, and had suffered with death of family members, but Abraham Lincoln was special in that he learned to read, stump speak, figure mathematics, survey, and would study law to get his license to practice in Illinois.  All these would be accomplished with one year of actual schooling, and years of self-learning.  Abraham would learn from his birth mother and step-mother, but they were illiterate.  Dennis Hanks, Abraham's ten year older cousin, would actually live with him and the Lincoln family in Indiana.  He told stories of teaching Abraham his ABC's.  Dennis must have been literate, and was raised in the pioneer environment at Abraham.  It makes one wonder how he could be educated.  Abraham was perhaps taught to memorize from his birth mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln.  She could recite Bible verses, as well as sing Christian songs.  Abraham would memorize the words of people speaking, and after reading, would memorize what he read.  From this, he would use the knowledge in developing life experiences and later speeches,

       Abraham's law partner Billy Herndon described Abraham as a reader, who read the newspaper "out loud" during the mornings in the office.  It has been said that he read "out loud."   Personal reading included works of Shakespeare, and Euclid's works on geometry. 

       Another point to bring out is that illiteracy does not mean un-intelligent.  These two women were a tremendous influence on the boy Abraham by encouraging him to read and study.  Abraham's father, on the other hand would teach him humor, how to work hard, and attempted to keep him from reading.  Abraham's father, Thomas Lincoln, also disliked education, surveyors and especially lawyers.  Abraham would go against his father on all these career choices. 

        If Abraham Lincoln learned by "Littles," maybe that is the best way for a person to learn.  It means he only went to school a total of one year.  All of the other things he learned were also by littles:  a little bit at a time over his lifetime. 

"Keep Reading and Learning"

An excerpt from Lessons from

       Everyone knows the story of Lincoln doing his schoolwork by candlelight in his boyhood home, taking his schoolwork into his own hands. Yet many may not know that Lincoln was an avid reader [1] and took time out his stressful day to read Shakespeare and other classic literature. During the summer of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abe could be found with the Iliad in his hand. He knew that staying sharp meant learning about things unrelated to politics. 

        Lifelong learners must be persistent, robust, confident and open-minded if they hope to achieve their personal and professional goals in life. But reaching that success can have a positive impact not just on those around you, but on the whole world. Just look at Abe.

Teacher's Guide

Learning What Lincoln Learned
in One Year as a Young Person

Can we learn as much as well "By the Light of the Fire?"

A Learning Activity
to Study Lincoln's One Year in School

Including the Reading, Writing, and Ciphering that our 16th President learned in his childhood. 

A young Abe doing his homework using the "Light of the Fire"
 We are going to do some of the same things young Abe did to learn
 Click Abe's Book to get your assignment.



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