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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

What's Fair for Abe?

Intended audience: K-1 st


Many students know Lincoln was a president and is on the penny and the five-dollar bill. My object is to enrich students with knowledge of Lincoln as a man, who came from nothing, didn't always win but never gave up, and was human like us. Students will learn the value of primary sources as I use one to illustrate a point in Lincoln's life and address the value of fairness by using the wrestling between Lincoln and Armstrong.


Students will:

· Listen to a story about Abraham Lincoln's life and discuss.

· Learn and discuss terms "fair" and "bully."

· Analyze a primary source document and indicate it's importance

· Discuss fairness and bullying as related to the primary source photo.

· Discuss their feelings and rights as related to the primary source photo.

Curriculum Connection

SS1a. identify examples of good citizenship.

SS1a. recognize symbols and leaders of the United States.

SS3b. recognize people from different times and places.

SS5a. recognize and describe feelings.

SS5d. show respect and concern for the rights of others.

SS5d. recognize the value of community and the need to belong.

SS10b. define basic social concepts of cooperation, conflicts, and competition.

SS10b. develop and use skills to communicate with individual and groups.

E1c.2 Being Read To: listen to and discuss every day at least one book or chapter that is longer and more difficult than what they can read independently or with assistance.

E1c.3 Discussing Books: refer explicitly to parts of the text when presenting or defending a claim

E1c.4 Vocabulary: learn new words everyday from talk and books read aloud.

E3a.1 Speaking and Listening: Talking a Lot: talk about their ideas, experiences and feelings; listen to others, signaling comprehension by clarifying, agreeing, empathizing or commenting as appropriate.


Picture of Abraham Lincoln (poster, or internet site:

Book: Discover Abraham Lincoln , Storyteller, Lawyer, President by Patricia Pingry

Primary source photo of Jack Armstrong and Abe Lincoln fighting.

Recommended Time (Number of class periods/time of class periods)

One 45 minute class period.

Activity Outline (Complete the following sections)

I. Context (Have the students answer the following questions for all documents in the Activity)

a. What type of document is this?

b. What time period do you think this is? When do you think the photo was taken?

d. What is the purpose of this document?

e. What is happening in the photo?

f. Who is the audience for this document?

II. Warm-Up (2-3 sentences)

Teacher shows a picture of Abraham Lincoln. List ideas students know about him on a chart. Tell them you are going to read a story about Abe and see if they can discover something new about him.

After discussion and adding to the list, talk about primary sources and their importance. Next, show the photo of Abraham Lincoln fighting.

III. Activity (6-10 sentences)

After showing a picture of Abraham Lincoln, the teacher makes a list of what students already know about him. Challenge students to learn new things about Lincoln as the story is read aloud to the group. Add their new items. Next introduce the terms bully and fair. Discuss. Show the photo of Jack Armstrong and Abraham Lincoln and discuss the questions listed in Document Activity. Then explain that it is a primary source and the value of it and others. Next tell the students the story of Jack Armstrong and his bullies, discussing bully, and then tell about Abe and Jack wrestling. Discuss the fairness if they had all fought at once. Discuss the result of winning or losing, and how they became good friends, and Lincoln gaining respect and character standing.

IV. Evaluation

Teacher observation of student responses and student examples they share.

V. Extensions (Suggest an optional, related activity)

Students could relate their own stories of bullying and how it made them feel. They could also share

examples of exhibiting fairness.

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