Bibliographic Information: Freedman, R. (1987). Lincoln: A photobiography. New York, N.Y.: Clarion Books.
Genre/ Grade Level: Non-fiction biography / 4-5 grade
Personally, I have never been a reader that was interested in non-fiction books. When I saw that I had to read this book next, I was not excited. Don’t get me wrong, I am open to new things but history was never my forte. Now after reading a few pages, I do admire the fact that Freedman included images but I saw this book as a child-version of a history text book. Now obviously the only lesson in this book is about Lincoln but I see this book as a great way to introduce textbooks to kids. Like I said, since i do not like history and am not a fan of non-fictional books, I was a bit biased but after reading the book I tried to think of a positive way to use it in the classroom. I would use this book if kids had to do a presentation on a president or even just a biography about a person. Again, this isn’t my personal pick for books but it was nice to read something outside of my preference.
Since this book is a biography, it is a bit difficult to identify the point of view and plot of the story. This book is about Lincoln’s life so I think the only plot would be his death since he was shot. The setting takes place in the United States, again since this is a biography there is no specific setting. Although I do not enjoy history or non-fiction books one thing I did appreciate in this book was the use of pictures and quotes throughout the story. I feel this added life to the biography (not to say his life was boring) and made readers more intrigued to the book.
Lesson objective: Students will be able to compare and contrast President Lincoln’s life to Martin Luther King Jr’s life. (The reason why I am having students compare these two outstanding leaders is because I feel they had a lot of similar leadership qualities since they both wanted justice for the people, did not promote violence, and were assassinated.
1. What does “emancipation” mean?
2. How could’ve Lincoln became a lawyer if he barely went to school?
3. How do you think Lincoln felt when the Southern states broke away from the United States?
Lesson Activity: Students will have their own presidential election in the class! They will be split into groups (parties) and will have to campaign, do their research, and have to follow similar steps that a past president has done. At the end, the winning party will receive extra credit!