Testing/Assessments & Learning Standards
July 23, 2015

Lesson Plan: Our Abe Lincoln

Source: Research and Educational Services
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LESSON TITLE: Our Abe Lincoln

TEACHER: Melinda Teter 

SUBJECT: Abraham Lincoln, Presidents 

GRADE: Kindergarten




Reading Level/Lexile: Grade Level 1.6

What rubrics will be used in this lesson? No specific rubric required.

Any special seating arrangements for the students? Students will work with a partner to create a poster about Abraham Lincoln’s character traits and additional space will be necessary for kinesthetic dramatization of vocabulary words.

Lesson Implementation: Edited

Lesson Implementation: Unedited


NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics

NYSED: English Language Arts

NYSED Classroom Videos

The NYS Education Department has classroom videos available in ELA (3 elementary, 1 secondary), mathematics (2 elementary, 2 secondary), and a European history lesson. The videos are presented un-edited and formatted to highlight specific NYS Learning standards as they are implemented.

Go to EngageNY to view the videos.


  • Copies of Our Abe Lincoln
  • Poster paper
  • Markers, crayons 


Summary: Our Abe Lincoln is a musical biography that is filled with examples of Abe’s great character. This book is perfect for teaching character traits.

What will students know or learn from this text?

The children will develop deep knowledge of Abraham Lincoln’s character.

Where is this text taking us? What unit will it be a part of?

This text is part of a unit on presidents and national symbols.

How will I know what they learned?

I will know what they have learned based on the character trait posters they create. I will observe while they work, and also take note of the work they do when they use post-its in their books.

Essential Questions:

What traits tell you why Abraham Lincoln was considered one of the greatest presidents?

Student Objectives / Outcomes

Students will learn about Abraham Lincoln’s character traits and they will make posters displaying these traits.


Reading Standards for Literature

RI.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text

RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic, and retell key details

RI.K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text

RI.K.10 Actively engage in a group reading activities with purpose and understanding

Writing Standards

  • W.K.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened
  • W.K.11 Create and/or present a poem, dramatization, artwork or personal response to a theme studied in class – with support as needed

Content Standards:

The study of American symbols, holidays, and celebrations helps to develop a shared sense of history, community, and culture.

  • Students will explain when and why national holidays such as Labor Day, Constitution Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Law Day, and Independence Day are celebrated.


This lesson incorporates all of the pedagogical shifts demanded by the Common Core State Standards

Knowledge in the disciplines; test-based answers; writing from sources; academic vocabulary

Academic Vocabulary: Isabel Beck, Bringing Words to Life, categorizes vocabulary into 3 tiers when considering which words need the most instructional attention. Beck suggests that students will benefit the most academically by focusing instruction on the Tier 2 Vocabulary Words. Tier 2 words are likely to appear in texts across content areas, essential for understanding this text.


High-frequency, multiple meaning vocabulary – words that appear with high frequency across a variety of domains, and are crucial when using mature, academic language (coincidence, reluctant, analysis)

Give Definition
Determine from context:
 rough: not fancy, simple  “lived rough with his family”
 fell: cut down  “fell oaks with a mighty axe”
 wise: smart  “Wise Abe Lincoln said, ‘NO MORE!’ to slavery”

Character Trait Vocabulary (taught through kinesthetic dramatization) : smart, strong, hard-working, honest, friendly, responsible, leader, wise


Students will work with partners who can support them in their learning. Students will share their learning (via posters) in personal and meaningful ways. Students will have a demonstration through a well-planned mini-lesson. The teachers will monitor the students when in the meeting circle and around the room.


Day 1:

  • Read Our Abe Lincoln for enjoyment. Discuss tier 2 vocabulary.

Day 2:

  • Review Our Abe Lincoln, and discuss the fact that throughout the book, Jim Aylesworth told us about things that Abe Lincoln did, which helps us to learn about his character.
  • Do a warm up exercise to get ready for the kinesthetic dramatization of the character trait words.
  • We will use kinesthetic dramatization to review and act out some character traits to show why Lincoln is such an important person to our country. The children will meet in a clear space in the classroom. The children will be asked to help determine an action for each character trait. We will act those out together and review them as we add more actions.
  • Then, the children will choose a character trait (which I will have written multiple times on strips in my pocket chart), from the choices in my pocket chart. They will work in partners to find evidence of the character trait in the book. They will use sticky notes to mark the page and they will copy the character trait word on the sticky note.
  • They will do this 3 or 4 more times so that they have flagged 4 or 5 character trait words to describe Lincoln.

Day 3:

  • Students will again work with their partners to make a character web about Abraham Lincoln. They will draw a picture of Abraham Lincoln in the middle of a poster and then work to write one character trait word at a time to make the web. They will use their books and copy the character traits right from their sticky notes. They will take turns and write all 4 or 5 character trait words on their web. They will present their webs to the class and give their opinion as to why they chose the character trait words that they did.


C= central ideas/general understanding:
  • How do we know that Lincoln’s family was poor?
  • How can you tell that Lincoln loved to read?
  • What, in the book, shows us that Abe is a hard worker?
  • People called him Honest Abe. Show evidence from the book of his honesty.
  • Why is Lincoln so important to the American people?
 D = key details
  •  What was something important that Lincoln did?
 V = vocabulary
  • What does it mean to be honest?
  • What is “slavery”?
 S = text structure
  •  Why do you think Jim Aylesworth decided to use an old song to teach about Abe Lincoln?
 AP = author's point of view
  •  What does Jim Aylesworth want us to know about Abe Lincoln?


(Part to whole, literal to inferential/evaluation)

1. How do we know Lincoln’s family was poor?

2. How can you tell that Lincoln loved to read?

3. What, in the book, shows us that Lincoln was a hard worker?

4. People called him Honest Abe. Show evidence from the book of his honesty.

5. Why is Lincoln so important to American people?

6. What was something important that Lincoln did?

7. Why do you think Jim Aylesworth decided to use an old song to teach about Abe Lincoln?

8. What does Jim Aylesworth want us to know about Abe Lincoln?


Formative Assessments:

  • Observation and answers to questions about the book
  • Kinesthetic dramatization of vocabulary words
  • Text based evidence found
  • Creation of posters representing Lincoln’s character traits.



What was I thinking about during the lesson writing?

The objectives I wanted my students to meet, the Common Core, and the shifts.

Why I chose the lesson?

We were learning about Washington and Lincoln because it was Presidents’ Day, and I came across this book, which is an old song re-written. It had great facts in it about Lincoln, and seemed a perfect book for learning character traits.


What was the effectiveness of the instructional design? I used kinesthetic dramatization to introduce the character traits, then we went over the character trait words, then the children worked in pairs to find the page that illustrated the character trait and noted it with a sticky note, then the children created character webs. I think this design followed a good order that allowed the children to become very familiar with the character trait words before they independently worked with those words.


Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth

Minds in Motion by Susan Griss

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