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Looking at Lincoln
(Publisher summary)
Abraham Lincoln is one of the first giants of history children are introduced to, and now Maira Kalman brings him to life with her trademark style and enthusiasm. Lincoln's legacy is everywhere - there he is on your penny and five-dollar bill. And we are still the United States because Lincoln helped hold them together.

But who was he, really? The little girl in this book wants to find out. Among the many other things, she discovers our sixteenth president was a man who believed in freedom for all, had a dog named Fido, loved Mozart, apples, and his wife's vanilla cake, and kept his notes in his hat. From his boyhood in a log cabin to his famous presidency and untimely death, Kalman shares Lincoln's remarkable life with young readers in a fresh and exciting way.

Looking at Lincoln author talk
Hear how author, Maira Kalman, fell in love with Lincoln and decided to write and illustrate a children's picture book about his life.

Visit the author's web site


Looking at Lincoln Read Aloud


Abraham Lincoln:Growing up on the Frontier (Biography video 3.06 minutes)
Learn how Lincoln came to feel so strongly about ending slavery and about the loss of his mother.



Listen to President Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address
The power of ten little sentences.




Watch this 3.48 video about the life of Abraham Lincoln (History Channel)



For you history buffs-this part is for you.

Watch the Looking for Lincoln documentary
Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s quest to piece together Lincoln’s complex life takes him from Illinois to Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., and face-to-face with people who live with Lincoln every day – relic hunters, re-enactors, and others for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion. If you are a history buff like Ms. Murphy then you will want to immerse yourself in the facts, fables, and fascination that make up the man we call "The Great Emancipator".

bluebonnet_clipart.gifBluebonnet Projects and Activities

How well do you know Lincoln? Take the quiz: Lincoln Myths and Misconceptions
It's not that easy. Ms. Murphy scored 12 out of 15. See if you can do better than me and trust your first instinct. I would have gotten 14 out of 15 if I had.

Interactive Timeline: Lincoln Over Time
Take this interactive challenge to place events and images from the life of Abraham Lincoln in chronological order.

Make and Take Activities:
Make a tiny Abe Lincoln hat at Enchanted Learning. Mr. Bones loves his Lincoln stovepipe hat.

Math based Lesson Plan: Recreating a replica of Abraham Lincoln's hat (source:Smithsonian National Museum of American History).

Bluebonnet Projects
Create a Character Portrait (ECDC Lesson plan included creating a character portrait).
Ms. Murphy created a large photo gallery of Abraham Lincoln images-photos, drawings, a silhouette, a five dollar bill, a penny, and a computer generated image of Lincoln.
Next: Book talk about the man and the book. Explain why the author decided to create her book.
Read "Looking at Lincoln" and offer up missing information from the story that will help students to better understand Lincoln. Ex: What happened to Lincoln's real mother, Nancy Hanks? She died from drinking infected milk. How did Lincoln know the soldier, Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth, who was shot in the heart and lost his brass button? He was a close friend and former law clerk of Lincoln's. Each time I shared extra details, I would close the book so the students knew I was sharing extra history tidbits.

Introduce the steps in creating a Character Portrait.
  1. Draw your interpretation of Abraham Lincoln.
  2. Brainstorm a list of meaningful words that best capture the look and spirit of Lincoln. What are some of his physical characteristics? Tall, lanky, thin, etc What are some personality characteristics? Ambitious, deep thinker, courageous, patient, sympathetic, forgiving, bookish, self-learner, etc. What are other descriptive words that help to sum up this great man? Lawyer, father, debater, President, etc.
  3. Add the words to your drawing that best describe A. Lincoln.
  4. Offer your thoughts and opinion about "Looking at Lincoln" and share something you learned about Lincoln.
  5. Present your character portrait to your classmates.

Abraham Lincoln coloring pages. Great to use for creating Bluebonnet Book projects. Write a summary about Looking at Lincoln and add your thoughts about the book. OR use one to Create a Character Project. Describe what type of person Abraham Lincoln was and how he made an impact on the world. Include some of his physical and personality traits and Lincoln quotes in your Character Project.

Coloring pages: These coloring pages may be used as part of a Bluebonnet Project or you may draw, sculpt, or paint your own image of Lincoln. Ms. Murphy will gladly display in the library.


Patriotic Coloring Pageswith biographical information and a great Lincoln image for creating book marks.(source:Raising Our Kids)
Abraham Lincoln Coloring Pages Very nice quality (source: Apples for the Teacher)

Examples of finished projects:

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Bluebonnet Book Literature Connections
Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha F. Brenner
A gently humorous f the life of Abe Lincoln. A slightly disorganized lawyer, he made his way relying on good will, friendliness, and – above all – honesty.

Abe Lincoln: the Boy who loved books by Kay Winters
A portrait of Abe Lincoln and how books and the power of words changed his life and ours as he walked out of the wilderness into the White House.

Honest Abe by Edith Kunhardt
A simple and elegant retelling of the life of one of our most important presidents.

A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler
Clear text and engaging artwork follow Lincoln from boyhood through his presidency.

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Maira Kalman for the kids point of view of Lincoln
Nancy Paulsen and Penguin Young Readers for publishing this wonderful biographical picture book
History Channel for Lincoln videos
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for the fascinating documentary and PBS for making learning come alive.
Smithsonian Museum of American History for math based lesson plan
Raising Our Kids for wonderful printable activities
Apples for the Teacher for high quality printables