1. Depending upon the reading level of
your students, you can choose a good Lincoln biographical book for the
children to read. The birth and boyhood story of Lincoln could be
covered by reading the book to the children, or having them read the
Chapter Book available from World Wide School website.
2. Have the children answer these questions:
3. Have the children illustrate a job that
Lincoln did. They could choose any of the careers covered in the
book or online Lincoln biographies. Make a special display of the
pictures on a large bulletin board or in the hallway.
- Why do you think the grown up Abe left his family
and went to New Salem?
- Do you think Abe should have quit reading books,
just split rails and stayed a farmer with his father?
- How did Abe learn to be a lawyer?
- Why did Abe do all those different jobs while
at New Salem?
4. Using a regular compass, teach the children how to determine
true north and then step off an area of ground such as a surveyor would
do. A small pioneer log cabin farm could then be planned for the
area of ground. Measurement, layout and
FOR ALL GRADE LEVELS
VISIT THE LINKS FOR SPECIAL
ACTIVITIES FOR EACH CAREER BY CLICKING THESE:
1. Using any of the three online Lincoln
biographies referenced in this activity, or get copies of Abraham
Lincoln: the Boy
and the Man by Lloyd Ostendorf, and have the students read the chapters
the book that covers Lincoln's New Salem years.
2. Have the students work on these questions in an appropriate
means (essay, chart, illustration, poster, or other):
3. Using a regular compass, teach the children
determine true north and then step off an area of ground such as a
surveyor would do. A small pioneer log cabin farm could then be
planned for the area of ground. Measurement, layout and planning
on the farm would require research in how such a farm is laid
out. Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site published a brochure with
a farm layout of the Thomas Lincoln Home site. Scale as well as
all the components (structures) of a pioneer farm is included in the
- Describe the difference between life on a
farm (such as where Abe's father, Thomas, lived) and life in a village
- Abe learned to read pretty much on his own "by
the light of the fire" as a boy. When he moved to New Salem, what
new learning advantages did he gain. Who was his tutor at New
- What is surveying? Why do people hire
surveyors? What kind of tools did Abe use when he was a surveyor?
What did he have to Learn to be able to survey?
- Abe was not just an "educated" person. He was
good at a sport. What was the sport, and who did he compete
against at New
- Abe would learn to be a politician at New Salem.
What did he do at his stores and in the tavern to develop his
political (speaking and personal relationships) skills?
1. Using any of the
three online Lincoln biographies referenced in this activity, or get a
of Carl Sandburg's Lincoln Biography: the Prairie Years (Vol. 1)
have the students read the chapters in the book that covers Lincoln's
2. Have the students work on these
in an appropriate means (essay, chart, illustration, poster, or
- Abe moved away from his father at age 21.
Describe the "law of the land in the 1830's, that related to a
child and his/her father as far as whether money can be earned,
adulthood can be declared, and "freedom" to do what you want applies.
- Abe found a box of books at New Salem, when
clearing out his store. These would prove
influential in his becoming a lawyer. What was the title of this
- What U.S. document was most influential in
the young adult Abe's basis on law and American rights?
- Find out the requirements and method for becoming
an official lawyer in the State of Illinois in the 1840's.
how Abe Lincoln became a lawyer (the procedures)
- Abe moved from a pioneer farmer's life in the
woods, to life in a village (group of people and structures all working
together). Describe some things that Abe did at New Salem that
developed his "people" skills and speaking/political ability.
- Abe ran for office more than once. He had
successes and failures in these efforts. Make a timeline of his
political efforts, and then describe how you think he had the
motivation to continue with all the bumps.
- Abe had to learn to survey, run a post office,
manage a general store,
among other careers at
Salem. With only one year of formal education, how did he manage
learn the math, reading and other skills? Did he succeed at all