Abraham Lincoln has always been someone my students LOVE learning about. His stovepipe hat, his beard that goes all around his face, and his height always fascinate kids. His determination, perserverence, dedication to changing our country, and the stories of his honest ways are also great discussion starters and an opportunity to talk about his unique physical features and character traits.
One of my favorite activities to do to culminate our learning about Lincoln is this character trait activity and art project. We talk about how tall Abe was (6'4") and see where we would be if we went head to head with him.
Next, we paint a tall picture of Mr. Lincoln using long lines to represent his body parts. We also make his famous beard by using a paint brush to bunny hop around his whole face.
Lastly, we go through different character traits and decide which words best describe him and which ones don't. We glue the ones that describe them to their master project and throw the others away. This makes a great ending activity and an adorable bulletin board!
Check out this creative twist on your study of Abe Lincoln on TpT. This 9-page file that includes detailed directions for the art project, photos, adjective worksheet, project reflection, interactive height activity, and bulletin board signs.
While there are many books that talk about his childhood and his presidency, there are some stories I love using with the kids that go beyond the common facts many kids are familiar with. Here are some of my favorite books that go beyond the kid's schema about Abe Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers by Karen Winnick
This story is about a young girl who gave him the idea to grow a beard. She told him that if he let his whiskers grow it would make him look better because his face was just too thin. She goes on to say that since all the ladies like whiskers, they would tease their husbands into voting for him.
What Lincoln Said by Sarah L. Thomson
This book takes direct quotes from Lincoln and uses them to teach the issues he dealt with in a way that young children can relate to. The part of this book that really opened up a heartfelt discussion about slavery was when Lincoln says slaves are "humans being treated like animals".
Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner
This book shows that Abe Lincoln's famous stovepipe hat came in handy for more than just covering his head...he used it to store important papers! This book shows Lincoln's fun-loving, compassionate, and disorganized side!