Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Books about Abraham Lincoln for Kids from Planet Smarty Pants
Yet again I am participating in Poppins Book Nook with many amazing Kid Bloggers. The topic for February was Presidents. Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

Lincoln – A Tragic Figure in US History

I find it interesting that George Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday fall so close together. For me these two Presidents certainly stand out as two people who changed the course of American history. In many ways they are the same, but in so many ways they are different. Washington was wealthy and so loved that people wanted to make him a king. Lincoln rose from an incredibly poor background through intelligence, determination, and hard work. Washington was victorious in the war with a foreign country. Lincoln won the war that tore his country apart and killed more Americans than WWI and WWII combined. And when people of the United States today criticize other countries that are trying to keep their unity and borders by force, perhaps they should look in the mirror of history and ask themselves whether they can really judge others.

Lincoln Books for Kids

My 7 year old is a little young to fully understand how torn Lincoln must have been over the decisions he had to make, but she has a pretty good grasp of his importance in American history. One of her favorite parts in The Story of the World, volume 3 is the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination. Her second grade class had a pretty deep unit study for Lincoln in February, and I’ve seen many books on Lincoln in her classroom. At home we read three books that I am going to share here.
Looking at Lincoln
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman is probably best suited for younger children, and it is also the shortest of the three. The story starts with a girl encountering a man impersonating Lincoln, which prompts her to learn more about a real man. I think Maira Kalman managed to retell Lincoln biography focusing on details that would fascinate a child rather than on details that fascinate us, adults. We read this book before, but only this year my seven year old really “got it”, probably because she already knew so much about Lincoln from other books.
Stand Tall Abe Lincoln
Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln is a long picture book in several chapters. It focuses on Lincoln’s childhood, which was so different from childhood that this generation of children experiences now. School was a desired luxury, not an unpleasant duty, pigs were not magically saved from slaughter by clever spiders, and the children could expect to lose their parents and siblings to disease or accident any time. It’s also an inspiring story of resilience and strength that I’d recommend for children 7+.
Magic Tree House Lincoln
Abe Lincoln at Last! is one of Smarty’s favorite books in Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series, and Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln works perfectly with that book. As other fact trackers, it goes deeper into history topics touched upon in Magic Tree House books and covers main points of Lincoln’s biography. Best suited for 8+ and assumes familiarity with Abe Lincoln At Last! book.

Additional Activities for Lincoln Theme

As I mentioned, Smarty did a lot of study on Lincoln in the classroom (it also included a standard Lincoln Hat art project), so we did not do any additional writing or art projects at home. Instead we just had several conversations about Lincoln and Presidents in general:
  • Compare Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. How are they the same and how are they different?
  • Compare Lincoln and John F. Kennedy (we did a mini-unit on JFK in January)
  • Was Lincoln right when he started the war to keep the Union? Smarty thought so and explained her point of view rather well.
  • Would you want to be a President? Why not? Smarty thinks it’s too much responsibility and it takes too long to become a President. She’d rather have her own business.
  • Who in our family would make the best President? Smarty thinks Papa would. I think so too!

More About Presidents

A Blog Hop and a Giveaway

Here are blogs that are participating in Poppins Book Nook:
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Afterschool for Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Sun Coast Mama ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~
Jill R. Ehm-Creator's photo.
GIVEAWAY: One lucky winner will win a copy of So You Want to Be a President? by Judith St George. The winner must reside within the United States. Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
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Ticia said...

Lincoln is one I think is pretty interesting in the grand scheme of things, but I have to admit to loving Washington more as I learned about him as an adult.

Ashley said...

Lincoln is definitely someone to be admired. Looks like you found some great books!

Chanda J said...

Love the new blog look! I look forward to using your site more as my little guy grows!

Joyful Learner said...

We studied Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson in Kindy. K likes Washington best. This year we studied Roosevelts, JFK, and Obama. K says she likes Teddy Roosevelt.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I'm afraid I'm with Smarty on this. You have reminded me that I need to see the Lincoln movie...

Anonymous said...

Abe At Last is an excellent book. I love the questions you shared. Great ways to get kids thinking!

Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!