Lesson Plan

“There I Grew Up…”  A. Lincoln - (Little Pigeon Creek Community)

The sculptured Indiana Panel depicts Abraham Lincoln as a young man growing up in the Little Pigeon Creek community in southern Indiana.


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Grade Level:
First Grade-Fourth Grade
Biology: Animals, Community, Environment, History, Pioneer America, Science History, Social Studies, U.S. Presidents
30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
large field
National/State Standards:
Indiana Curriculum Standards:  1.1.1, 2.1.1, 3.1.2, 4.1.6, 4.3.8


One of the Great Pigeon roosts!
Southern Indiana was a feeding and breeding ground for the passenger pigeons. Passenger Pigeons have been said, in its day, to have numbered into the millions and to have been the most abundant of any bird in America.


Students will have an understanding of the reason behind the name of the community of which the Lincolns were a part.


The Passenger Pigeons "literally formed clouds, and floated through the air in a frequent succession of these as far as the eye could reach, sometimes causing a sensible gust of wind, and a considerable motion of the trees over which they flew." Audubon observed, "Multitudes are seen, sometimes, in groups, at the estimate of a hundred and sixty-three flocks in 21 minutes.  The noonday light  is then darkened as by an eclipse, and the air filled with the dreamy buzzing of their wings."


Where did it get its name?

When the Lincolns settled in this area, it wasn't called Lincoln City. Instead, the settlement was named the Little Pigeon Creek Community, which got its name for the many passenger pigeons that lived in the Southern Indiana woods. Those pigeons are now extinct, which means they no longer exist. Today, there are laws against killing birds or animals in most National Parks. These laws protect endangered species, which might be living within park boundaries, and hopefully, help to keep other species from becoming extinct like the passenger pigeons.


pieces of yarn, whistle, poster board or dry erase board


Park Connections

In the fall of 1816 a dark-haired frontiersman, Thomas Lincoln, toiled along a narrow trace leading through the dense forest of southern Indiana.  Sixteen miles from the Ohio River, he came upon a scattering of dwellings lying just south of Little Pigeon Creek, in a region of towering hardwoods, plentiful game, and good water. Choosing a quarter section (160 acres) of government-surveyed land for a home site, he marked the corners with brush piles and notched the largest trees. Then he set out on the long trek back to his farm in Kentucky to settle his affairs and bring his family to their new wilderness home.


For Thomas, a carpenter and backwoods farmer, Indiana offered a fresh start. Here, he could own good soil, free of title disputes and the taint of slavery. Three times he had lost land in Kentucky because of title flaws, and others had claimed the fruits of his labor. Moreover, settlers were crowding in and slavery was becoming more controversial. So, he turned his eyes across the Ohio River, to vast new lands which held the promise of a better life.

Last updated: April 10, 2015