Lesson Plan

Boyhood of Abraham Lincoln

Frontier cabin at Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek
Frontier cabin at Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek
NPS

Overall Rating

Add your review (0 reviews)
Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Twelfth Grade
Subject:
Anthropology, Civil War, Economics, Geography, Government, History, Pioneer America, Sociology, Westward Expansion
Duration:
1 hour
Group Size:
Up to 24
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Council for Social Studies (NCSS): The Eight Standards

U.S. History: 1, 1A, 2, 2D, 2E, 3A, 6
Geography: I, II, IV, V, VI
English: I, II, III

Overview

The Lincoln family moved to the Knob Creek Farm in 1811.  The next five years on the farm furnished Abraham Lincoln his "earliest recollections." Abraham Lincoln's early years on the Kentucky frontier helped to shape his character and prepare the boy who would grow up to become the sixteenth President of the United States to lead the nation through the tragic and turbulent times of the Civil War. His legacy of liberty and equality remains relevant today and has impacted people around the world.



Objective(s)

Students will research the area around Knob Creek, the individuals living within said community, ideas, and attitudes and difficulties prevalent in early Kentucky.



Background

The Lincoln family moved to a one room log cabin at the Knob Creek Farm in 1811.  The
next five years at Knob Creek would furnish Abraham Lincoln his "earliest recollections" of 
his life.  A fireplace was built at one end of the cabin and was used for cooking, heating,
and illumination of the cabin.  A cabin was typically a structure that was sixteen feet by
eighteen feet in dimensions where a pioneer family lived, cooked, ate, and slept.  A loft was
often added for storage or sleeping space for older children.

As a young boy at Knob Creek, Abraham Lincoln began to explore and examine the world
around him. The Knob Creek valley, which got its name from the large hills surrounding it,
became an area of work, play, and exploration for the young Lincoln. It is also while living
at Knob Creek that Abraham Lincoln received his first opportunity for formal education.
When his older sister, Sarah, was sent to a subscription school two miles away from the
Lincoln cabin, young Abraham was sent along with her as company.  While attending the
ABC, or blab school as it was called, Abraham Lincoln began to learn his letters, to write,
and to do arithmetic to the rule of three.  Due to the needs on the farm, sessions at the 
school were sporadic, often limited to the winter months when farming activities were 
reduced.    

Early furnishings for a frontier cabin were sparse and crudely made.  These furnishings 
included a pole bed, small table with bench style or stools for sitting while eating meals,
cooking utensils, butter churn, spinning wheel, water bucket, and a small wash tub.  Early
mattresses were filled with broomsage, leaves, cornhusks, or feathers.  Cooking utensils
were made of wrought iron while bowls, plates, and spoons were made of wood.  Gourds
were dried to be used as dippers or storage containers.

Frontier women made their own thread and yarn from flax and produced most of the
family's clothing by hand.  Animal skins were used to make trousers and moccasin shoes.
Shoes were also made from tanned leather.  Women also made lye soap from ashes from
the fireplace and candles from animal fat.

The diet of frontier settlers centered around what was grown on the farm and in kitchen
gardens.  These items usually included corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, cabbage, and
onions.  This was supplemented by gathering nuts and berries during the summer
months, and hunting wild game during the winter months.  Cornmeal was hand ground or
taken to local mills for grinding.  Sugar and coffee were two items that would be
purchased for family use.

Farming was the main occupation on the Kentucky frontier and furnished many of the
items the family needed.  What the family could not manufacture or produce on the farm
could be obtained by trading with neighbors or local merchants.  Most farms included a 
cow or two for milk and butter, hogs for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, possibly a few
sheep for wool, and a horse or oxen for pulling a plow or wagon.  Farming implements
were crude and typically made of wood or metal. 

Survival of frontier families depended upon a bountiful harvest, careful planning, 
cooperation, and participation of all family members.  Each family member had assigned
chores.  Chores, such as gathering wood for the fireplace, obtaining water, feeding the livestock, and helping in the fields or in the household, as well as gathering nuts and 
berries during the summer months were typically reserved for the children.    



Materials

For this lesson you will need the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace and Boyhood Home Rubric sheet, journal entry example sheet, and journal entry worksheet.



Procedure

  • Start the lesson with appropriate lecture notes.
  • Instruct students on requirements for journal entry.
  • Hand out examples of journal entry.
  • Critique the journal entry.
  • Elaborate on why it is considered to be a good example.
  • Hand out selected reading materials.
  • Instruct students to annotate the reading materials.
  • Students will create an outline of what information they will use in the journal entry as required by the blank journal entry worksheet.
  • Instruct students on how to document using APA Chicago style footnotes.
  • Allow students time to work on assignment.
  • Provide for peer grading opportunities.
  • Wrap up the lesson with a discussion on what information they obtained from the reading materials.

Assessment

 

4

3

2

1

Required Elements

 

Includes at least one quotation from research material and includes at least six biographical details from ABLI life. All five Journal entries cover at least four different genres. Outline notes are included for all Journal entries.

Includes at least one quotation from research material and includes at least six biographical details from ABLI life. All five Journal entries cover at least three different genres. Outline notes are included for all or most artifacts.

Missing one to two required elements. May have no quotation from the novel or fewer than six artifacts. Outline notes are included for most artifacts.

Missing three or more required elements (i.e., the quotation from the novel and six biographical details. Outline notes are incomplete or not included for the artifacts.

Topic/Content

 

Journal entries clearly relate to the main topic. Covers topic completely and in depth. Encourages readers to know more.

 

Journal entries clearly relates to the main topic. Includes essential information and enough elaboration to give readers an understanding of the topic.

 

Journal entries clearly relates to the main topic. Includes some essential information with few facts or details.

 

Journal entries have little or nothing to do with the main topic. Includes little essential information and only one or two facts

 

Creativity

 

A lot of thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun as shown by creative style and outline notes.

 

Some thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun as shown by the creative style and outline notes.

 

Some thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting and fun, but some of the things made it harder to understand/enjoy.

 

Little thought was put into making the Journal entries interesting or fun.

 

Bibliographical Resources

 

Includes properly cited sources and complete information. Students will use Chicago style APA footnotes.

 

Documentation is included for all sources, but some bibliographical information is missing.

 

Documentation for some sources is missing and/or incomplete.

 

No documentation is included.

 

Mechanics

 

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization are correct. No errors in the text.

Journal must be 1 page in length. 12 Font Times new roman.

Spacing no more than 1.5 with footnotes included at the bottom of the page.

 

Includes 2-3 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 

Includes 3-4 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 

Includes more than 5 grammatical errors, misspellings, punctuation errors, etc.

 









Park Connections

www.nps.gov/libo



Additional Resources

Ida Tarbell, Boy Scouts Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Macmillan Co., 1921)

Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln; Interview with Dennis Hanks (Champaign, Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 1997), p. 35 - 43.

Douglas L. Wison and Rodney O. Davis, Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statetments about Abraham Lincoln; Interview with Sarah Bush Lincoln (Champaign, Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 1997), 106 - 109. 



Vocabulary

Farming, education, chores, cooperation, seasons, topography, production