Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘abraham lincoln’

10 things you probably don’t know about Abraham Lincoln

It’s February 12. And we all know what that means.

“Time to go buy Valentine candy?”

Uh . . . no.

It’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthdate. Everyone knows this. Well, maybe not everyone. But for me, Lincoln’s birthday has always been one of the highlights of the year. Seriously. For as long as I can remember, February 12 has been a big day for me.

Lincoln has always been my favorite president. I can remember doing research, if you can call looking at his picture in the L volume of World Book Encyclopedia research, in first grade. And my appreciation for him has only grown since elementary school.

I grew up with the traditional rags to riches story of a self-made man, growing up in the wilds of the American west and becoming president. But he’s become much more complex as I’ve had the chance to spend time with him. Perhaps one of the most powerful professional learning experiences I have ever had was spending a week at Gettysburg College with historian Gabor Boritt.

Lincoln is more than just a tall guy with a really good media team. More than a guy who walked three miles in the rain to return six cents in change and who split wood to make fences.

So today . . . ten things you probably didn’t know about Abraham Lincoln. Read more

Lincoln, “a new birth of freedom” and EDSITEment

November 19, 1863. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Perhaps 20,000 people had gathered to hear former Massachusetts Senator and  Governor Edward Everett deliver a speech dedicating the cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield. The dedication had been postponed a month to allow Everett more time to prepare his remarks.

The weather was mild for November, windy with a few sprinkles during the afternoon.

The Cemetery Dedication Committee had, as a courtesy, also invited United States President Abraham Lincoln to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” following Everett.

And while Everett delivered the first address at Gettysburg, it is the two minute, 10 sentence speech by Lincoln that we remember. Lincoln’s “appropriate remarks” should be required reading for every student who walks through our doors. Lincoln’s short but profound speech embodies the core of American democracy – equality, freedom, a government by and for the people.

EDSITEment has developed a four lesson unit that focuses on Lincoln’s vision for a strong Union that worked to ensure these core values. After completing this unit, students will have a better understanding of why Lincoln revered the union of the American states as “the last best, hope of earth.” You’ll find everything you need – handouts, primary sources, photos, teacher instructions

It’s a perfect fit for the next few weeks between now and November 19th.

You might also want to check out:

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Abe Lincoln, the Civil War and Social Media

One hundred and fifty years ago, America’s citizens were wrapped up in their own election excitement. An Illinois Congressman named Abraham Lincoln was locked in a tight race with three other candidates including Southern Democrat John Breckinridge and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas.

With the majority of northern counties in his pocket (despite any campaigning or speeches,) Lincoln easily won the electoral vote. “But as we approach the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s election and the long conflict that followed,” says author Tony Horwitz

it’s worth recalling other reasons that era endures. The Civil War isn’t just an adjunct to current events. It’s a national reserve of words, images and landscapes, a storehouse we can tap in lean times like these, when many Americans feel diminished, divided and starved for discourse more nourishing than cable rants and Twitter feeds.

In an electronics-saturated age, (we’re forced) to exercise our atrophied imaginations. There’s no Sensurround or 3D technology, just snake-rail fences, marble men and silent cannons aimed at nothing. You have to read, listen, let your mind go.

And the New York Times just started a pretty cool way to read, listen and let your mind go. Using a blog called Disunion, the NYT will tell the story of the Civil War in a series of weekly roundups and analysis, by Jamie Malanowski, of events making news during the corresponding week 150 years ago. Written as if in real time, this dispatch will appear every Monday. Additional essays and observations by other contributors, along with maps, images and diaries, will be published several times a week.

It looks like a great way to engage students with actual content. I like the way that the story of the period

revisits and reconsiders America’s most perilous period — using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded.

Add the RSS feed and you’ll get Disunion delivered straight to your news reader. Use a variety of primary source analysis worksheets to help kids break the information into manageable chunks and develop some essential questions to guide instruction. You might even pick and choose your favorite posts and create your own document reader for next spring when you hit the Civil War in your curriculum.

If nothing else, use Disunion as your own private professional development to increase your content knowledge of a specific period. This week I learned more about Head-Stompers, Wrench-Swingers and Wide Awakes. Pretty sweet stuff!

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

(hat tip to honorary historian Jerry Butler!)