It’s February and that means President’s Day sales! Unless you are a kid. If you are a kid the teacher, or you, will trot out the same old word search games and the same old movies about Presidents Washington and Lincoln. They’ll expect you to wear a craft paper beard and an oatmeal canister for a hat. That is totally boooooring! Here at LJSkool we believe in learning while having fun. Here are 10 Very Fun, Totally Not Boring, ways to learn about Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president.
We will be using online games, virtual field trips, and sure, we even have some worksheets. Because you have to show everyone you did do some kind of learning after all.
Our first stop is a virtual field trip to Washington, DC.
If you watched the Presidential Inauguration Celebration you would have seen President Trump walking around the Lincoln Memorial with his family. I have been there many times. TV cannot capture the stateliness of this awe inspiring monument.
If you can’t get there, or want to quickly re-visit, the National Park Service has created a virtual interactive site of the Lincoln Memorial. There are also videos of the park rangers stationed there talking about what the man and the monument mean to them. It’s just a beautiful site!
Our second stop is an online educational game about Lincoln and the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads is based on the traveling exhibition Lincoln: The Constitution & the Civil War. The online game is intended for advanced middle- and high-school students. But that is if they are working alone. This would make a great family project.
This online educational game invites you to learn about Lincoln’s leadership by exploring the political choices he made. An animated Lincoln introduces a situation, asks for advice and prompts players to decide the issue for themselves, before learning the actual outcome. At the end of the game, players discover how frequently they predicted Lincoln’s actions.
A Resources Page keyed to each chapter provides links to relevant Websites on Lincoln and the Civil War, permitting students to explore issues in more depth.
Our third stop uses videos and worksheets to learn about Lincoln, the Civil War, and his life.
Watch the free BrainPop movie about the Civil War. Learn who was involved, who led either side, the major battles and trends of the war, including why the Union forces lost so many battles at first. You’ll also meet some of the major players in the war, including Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant. Finally, you’ll see what happened at the conclusion of this bloody war — and you’ll find out some stats about the horrific number of casualties.
4. Then take the quiz as a family and see how remembers the most!
5. Make an online map of the Civil War battles
6. Play a timeline game by putting events in Abraham Lincoln’s life in the proper order. (Click on the ? on the upper right hand corner to learn how to play.)
7. Mr. Nussbaum has an interactive map of the important places in Abraham Lincoln’s life. Just click on a dot and the data for that spot pops up telling you why it’s important.
8. The Abraham Lincoln Slide Puzzle is an online game that comes in different difficulty levels. This is great for preschoolers (tiles 3×3) on up to high schoolers (6×6). You can also number the tiles or not. You can change the image or upload your own, too.
9 and 10. iPhone and iPad applications. (There is a small charge.) The Lincoln Telegrams project includes over three hundred digitized telegram memos written by President Abraham Lincoln between March 10, 1864 and April 12, 1865. This iPad app presents the telegrams and historical analysis conducted by project collaborators.
The Fredericksburg Battle App is the perfect touring partner for your exploration of the Fredericksburg battlefield. The GPS-enabled touring application will guide you through four detailed tours that cover the entire Civil War battlefield – from the initial fight for the town to the Union attack on Prospect Hill to the bloody repulses at the Sunken Road. Click on the various “virtual signs” to access accounts of the great events at the location where you are standing. Onboard historian videos, audio accounts of soldiers and civilians from the battle, animated maps, photos, orders of battle, chronologies, and key facts, and more are just a click away.
Hopefully I got my counting right and there are indeed ten very fun, totally not boring, ways to learn about Lincoln! Happy President’s Day. I’m going to go buy some new linens now.