Reading Material: Just Like Abraham Lincoln (read-aloud), booklet (Copycat, Jan/Feb 97)
Introduction: Pose the question, Who was Abe Lincoln? In a whole group, do a ball toss to gather info we already know/think we know. (Students pass the ball to each other, one at a time, stating one thing they know about Abe Lincoln, or asking one questions about him.) Where would we put Lincoln on our timeline? (Wait until later in the unit to actually put Lincoln on the timeline so kids can decide which date to use. We usually choose when he became President.)
Purpose for reading: to discover facts about Lincoln
Activity: Read aloud the book, Just Like Abraham Lincoln. Allow for a few minutes to discuss. Explain that students will be reading to find out information about Abe Lincoln. The problem is that the text and pictures are not together. Students must read each paragraph of text and match it with the correct picture, then put the pages in the correct order. Encourage students to check with a partner when the finish matching text and pictures, before they glue the text down.
Discussion: Students read their book with a partner.
Closure: What did we learn about Abe Lincoln? What facts did we discover that were also in the read aloud book?
Day 2 (can be separated into 2 days, but quiz is rather short)
Focus: How much do we know about Lincoln? Using TTQA (Turn The Question Around)
Reading Material: booklet from yesterday, quiz on website
Introduction: Review yesterday’s booklet and what we learned so far. Which date should we use to put Lincoln on the timeline? Locate the date and add Lincoln to the large timeline.
Purpose for reading: (a) to locate specific information in the text and use TTQA to answer questions
(b) to test your knowledge on Lincoln
Activity: (a) The last page of the booklet contains questions to be answered. Explain to students that the best way to answer questions like this is by using TTQA –Turn The Question Around. Using the pocket chart, put up a question for students to answer. (ex. “What did you do yesterday at recess?”) Ask for answers. Many students will respond at first with one word answers. Explain that these are not complete sentences. Demonstrate that by using the words in the question, you can make a complete sentence to answer the question. Cut off the final words “Yesterday at recess” and move them down to start a new sentence. Add the rest of the answer. (ex. Yesterday at recess we played in the snow.) Point out that we did was “turn the question around” by using the words on the end of the question to start the answer. Model again, if needed. Students are to locate the answers to the Lincoln questions (underline the info) and use TTQA to write their answers.
(b) Visit this Abraham Lincoln site (Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children) and test your knowledge of Lincoln so far. Students read the questions and choose their answers. Incorrect answers are given a helpful hint to correct.
Discussion: Share answers, once again demonstrating the TTQA process with sentence strips.
Closure: How did you do on the quiz? What new information did you learn?
Focus: Lincoln’s early life
Reading Material: information on website
Format: independent or partner reading
Introduction: Explain to students that Lincoln saw many changes in his lifetime. Read the final two pages in If You Grew Up . . showing those changes. We will focus now on Lincoln’s early life and what it was like to live as a pioneer in the south. Type 1 writing of what it was like to live back then. Share ideas.
Purpose for reading: to gain background info on Lincoln’s early life
Activity: visit the website < Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children > and go through the picture gallery of Lincoln’s boyhood home.
Discussion: Which of our ideas is supported? What new information did we discover? What was most interesting to you?
Closure: Did anyone’s learnings change?
Focus: life as a pioneer
Reading Material: If You Grew Up With Abraham Lincoln
Format: small group jigsaw learning
Introduction: Review what was learned yesterday by visiting the website. What was life like back in Lincoln’s boyhood times?
Purpose for reading: to gather information on different aspects of what it was like to live during this time period
Activity: Students will work in small groups to gather information on one of these categories – school, home, work. Each group receives a few pages copied from If You Grew Up With AL related to their topic. Their job is to read the info and work together to present their info to the class. (teachers can select the amount of information and the topics as it fits their students.)
Discussion: Each group presents what they learned. Can add interesting facts to a new chart.
Closure: Quick discussion of how things were different then and now. What has changed?
Focus: Abe’s hat
Reading Material: Abe Lincoln’s Hat
Format: 3 ring circus
Introduction: Show pictures of Lincoln with his stovepipe hat. What do students think was the purpose of this hat?
Purpose for reading: find out what other use Lincoln had for his hat; practice TTQA
Activity: Students read the book and use TTQA to answer the questions. Some questions cannot be answered with TTQA. Answer them as best we can and we’ll discuss these later.
Discussion: Go over TTQA answers. Sort questions into two categories – those that could be answered with TTQA and those that couldn’t. What’s the difference between the two? (The TTQA ones are “in the book” questions where the answers are right there. The non-TTQA questions are “in your head” questions that you have to think about to answer. The answer is not directly given in the book. I use this as a starting point for discussing and creating questions in future activities.)
Closure: Share a few oral responses to book.
Focus: more information on Abraham Lincoln (focus on later years)
Reading Material: A Picture Book of AL
Format: 3 ring circus
Introduction: Review what we know so far about AL. We’ve talked about life as a child and as a young adult. Now we’ll focus on Lincoln as an adult and as President. Briefly discuss what was happening in the country with slavery and states wanting to drop out of the US. (There’s an animation of the states on the website I add a day or two on Harriet Tubman and slavery as background so the kids are familiar with this before today’s activity.)
Activity: Students read the book and do a written book response, using the ideas on our “What We Can Write About Books” chart.
Discussion: share responses in small groups
Closure: Do you think Lincoln deserves to be honored? Why or why not?
Day 6 & 7
Focus: comparing life now and then
Reading Material: information gathered on Lincoln’s life so far
Format: independent writing
Introduction: Review what we’ve learned in this unit about what life was like back in Lincoln’s times. Start a t-chart, with one side listing the way things were back then, and the other with the way things are now. Students can complete the chart in a whole group, or independently and share with the group.
Purpose for writing: to show changes since Lincoln’s time
Activity: Students use their/class t-chart to write a letter to A.L. discussing the way things have changed since he was President. We focus on having a topic sentence, at least 3 details (3 ways things have changed and why that is good/bad), and a concluding sentence. We also review letter format.