Sunday, February 17, 2013

Looking at Lincoln

A 2013-14 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee

Looking at Lincoln
(Publisher summary)
Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln's legacy is everywhere - there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together.

But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife's vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln's remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.

Looking at Lincoln author talk
Hear how author, Maira Kalman, fell in love with Lincoln and decided to write and illustrate a children's picture book about his life.

Visit the author's web site 

How I have used this book:                                                                                                       Looking at Lincoln was a terrific book for a library read aloud in connection with President's Day. Students from ages Pre-kindergarten three year-olds-Sixth grade were intrigued by this story. Kindergartens and up remembered that Abraham Lincoln was a tall man who was once President of the United States and that he had been shot and killed. During the reading, I included tidbits of Lincoln information and after the reading, I shared informational videos with students courtesy of Biography Channel and the History Channel. These are two favorites among students for vibrant and to the point type of videos. 
Next, 2nd-5th graders began a two week project beginning with drawing a character portrait of Abraham Lincoln. After a bit more digging into the life of Lincoln, through use of videos and print materials, students will compose a list of meaningful words that best describe the physical and personality characteristics of Lincoln. Each student will be responsible for including new information they have discovered in the course of their research and for presenting their final projects to their peers. This non-graded project will earn each student credit for completing a Bluebonnet project towards their goal of completing five projects. Twenty books are nominated to compete for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Texas students in grades 3-6 vote to decide which book deserves the annual Bluebonnet Award. 

President's Day Resources:

Scholastic's Everything You Need to Celebrate President's Day

Patriotic Coloring Pageswith biographical information and a great Lincoln image for creating book marks.(source:Raising Our Kids)

Abraham Lincoln Coloring Pages Very nice quality (source: Apples for the Teacher)

For you history buffs-this part is for you.

Watch the Looking for Lincoln documentary
Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s quest to piece together Lincoln’s complex life takes him from Illinois to Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., and face-to-face with people who live with Lincoln every day – relic hunters, re-enactors, and others for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion. If you are a history buff like Ms. Murphy then you will want to immerse yourself in the facts, fables, and fascination that make up the man we call "The Great Emancipator".

How well do you know Lincoln? Take the quiz: Lincoln Myths and Misconceptions
It's not that easy. Ms. Murphy scored 12 out of 15. See if you can do better than me and trust your first instinct. I would have gotten 14 out of 15 if I had.

Interactive Timeline: Lincoln Over Time
Take this interactive challenge to place events and images from the life of Abraham Lincoln in chronological order.

Make and Take Activities:
Make a tiny Abe Lincoln hat at Enchanted Learning. Mr. Bones loves his Lincoln stovepipe hat.

Math based Lesson Plan: Recreating a replica of Abraham Lincoln's hat (source:Smithsonian National Museum of American History).

Literature Connections:

Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha F. Brenner
A gently humorous examination of the life of Abe Lincoln. A slightly disorganized lawyer, he made his way relying on good will, friendliness, and – above all – honesty.

Abe Lincoln: the Boy who loved books by Kay Winters
A portrait of Abe Lincoln and how books and the power of words changed his life and ours as he walked out of the wilderness into the White House. 

Honest Abe by Edith Kunhardt
A simple and elegant retelling of the life of one of our most important presidents.

A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler
Clear text and engaging artwork follow Lincoln from boyhood through his presidency.

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