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How to Teach Children about Abraham Lincoln on His Birthday

Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to have been the greatest U.S. President. When his birthday comes around, teach children everything you can about our nation's 16th president.


  • Step 1: Review the events leading up to Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, after more than 2 years of civil war. Explain to them how important it was to the future of America.
  • Step 2: Ask the students to memorize "The Gettysburg Address," which Lincoln gave at the dedication of the soldiers' national cemetery at Gettysburg, and what became one of the greatest presidential speeches ever given. Now celebrate Lincoln's birthday with your knowledgeable children.
  • FACT: At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War.
  • TIP: Expand the discussion and ask the children what they think would factor into a decision to go to or not go to war.
  • Step 3: Help the students reflect on the enormity of Lincoln's decision to go to war in 1861 to attempt to preserve the Union after the South seceded in January.
  • TIP: Search online for reliable Lincoln biographies that are found on .edu and .gov websites.
  • Step 4: Create a time line of Lincoln's life relating the events in it to developments in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Share it with the kids.
  • TIP: Using a map, trace out the places Lincoln lived during his lifetime, including Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Washington D.C.
  • Step 5: Read a biography of Abraham Lincoln, whose early life included leaving on frontier farms in Kentucky and Indiana, and who became a lawyer in 1836. Use the information in it to have a story time with kids.

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