Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

February 12

Celebrate our 16th president's birthday by learning more about his life and completing these classroom activities.

General Information    Lesson Plans     Speeches   Images of Lincoln
Student Activities
    TV / Videos     Lincoln Reading List


General Information

  • 16th President of the United States
  • Born: February 12, 1809 in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky
  • Died: April 15, 1865 in Washington, District of Columbia
  • President: March 4th, 1861 to April 15, 1865
Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln
In referring to Lincoln's thirst for knowledge in spite of humble beginnings, this page quotes Lincoln's former law partner as saying about Lincoln, "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."
Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary LifeAbraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life
An online Smithsonian exhibition celebrating Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
Photos and information about his birthplace in Kentucky.
Abraham Lincoln OnlineAbraham Lincoln Online
A comprehensive site with biographical information, text of speeches, and information about some of the historical places associated with Lincoln such as Ford's Theatre.
Abraham Lincoln PapersAbraham Lincoln Papers
From the American Memory, Library of Congress, the online presentation of the Abraham Lincoln Papers comprises approximately 61,000 images and 10,000 transcriptions.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and MuseumAbraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
This official Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library is devoted to telling the life story of the nation's beloved 16th President.
Free Lincoln Conference Online
Watch archived presentations from Smithsonian curators and your colleagues across the country on Abraham Lincoln's life and death. 
LincolnThe History Place: Lincoln
A timeline of President Lincoln's presidency, many great photos, and Civil War information.
Lincoln Boyhood National MemorialLincoln Boyhood National Memorial
U.S. National Park Service
Lincoln MemorialLincoln Memorial
The monument in Washington, D.C. is "a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln and the nation he fought to preserve during the Civil War (1861-1865)."
Mr. Lincoln's Virtual LibraryMr. Lincoln's Virtual Library
From the Library of Congress--documents and resources about President Lincoln.
Whitman's "Death of Lincoln"Whitman's "Death of Lincoln"
Library of Congress Webcast, dramatic reading of Walt Whitman's historic lecture, "Death of Lincoln," by Daniel Epstein.
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Lesson Plans

2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Program (K-1) (pdf)
Students will learn more about Abraham Lincoln as they explore the new one cent coin.
Imagining Abraham LincolnImagining Abraham Lincoln (K-4)
After reading the book Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers students will create a new scene that is not in the book, based on the character of Abraham Lincoln.
We Must Not Be Enemies: Lincoln's First Inaugural AddressWe Must Not Be Enemies: Lincoln's 1st Inaugural Address  (4-6)
This lesson will help students understand the historical context and significance of Lincoln's inaugural address through archival documents.
Abraham Lincoln's the Gettysburg AddressAbraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (4-8)
Lincoln honored the sacrifice of the soldiers and reminded citizens of the necessity of continuing to fight the Civil War. This activity has students perform a close reading of the Gettysburg Address.
Commemoration of the Gettysburg Battlefield  (7-12)
Students will access multiple primary sources that provide a historical context for the Gettysburg Address and then classify the information to form generalizations about the Civil War and democracy.
Lincoln Goes to WarLincoln Goes to War (9-12)
Explore the decision-making process that precipitated the Civil War, focusing on deliberations within the Lincoln administration that led to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861.
Families in BondageFamilies in Bondage (9-12)
This lesson draws on letters written by slaves and free blacks to loved ones still in bondage, to offer students a glimpse into slavery and its effects on African American family life.
Abraham Lincoln on the American UnionLincoln on the American Union: “A Word Fitly Spoken”  (9-12)
This unit explores the political thought of Abraham Lincoln on the subject of American union.
A House DividingA House Dividing: The Growing Crisis of Sectionalism in Antebellum America (9-12)
In this unit, students will trace the development of sectionalism in the United States as it was driven by the growing dependence upon, and defense of, black slavery in the southern states.
Abraham Lincoln on Slavery and Race (9-12)
Slavery played a prominent role in America's history in the antebellum era. Politicians were increasingly pressured to make their opinions known, and Abraham Lincoln was no exception.
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A Reading of the Gettysburg AddressA Reading of the Gettysburg Address
Listen to a reading of the Gettysburg Address, the speech, which was written to commemorate the Union soldiers killed in the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural AddressAbraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
Read Lincoln's First inaugural address.
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural AddressAbraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address was delivered on March 4, 1865, during the final days of the Civil War and only a month before he was assassinated.
The Emancipation ProclamationThe Emancipation Proclamation
The proclamation is included here in full text.
Library of Congress: Gettysburg AddressLibrary of Congress: Gettysburg Address
View drafts of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's invitation to Gettysburg and the only known photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg.
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Images of Lincoln

Images of LincolnImages of Lincoln
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln with a beardLincoln with a beard
1860 American Memory resource
Lincoln without a beardLincoln without a beard
1860 American Memory resource
Mr. Lincoln
This web site provides a large variety of Lincoln images.
Portraits of President Abraham LincolnPortraits of President Abraham Lincoln
American Memory, Library of Congress
President Lincoln the last week of his life
1865 American Memory resource
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Student Activities

Hands On Craft: Abe Lincoln Bank
Gather your craft supplies and create this Abe Lincoln bank.
Honest Abe QuizHonest Abe Quiz
How well do you know Lincoln?
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TV / Videos

Lincoln videos in eMedia
The videos contained in eMedia are available to Utah's K-12 teachers and students through the Utah's Online Library.


  • American Experience. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided
  • Freedom: A History of US
  • The Civil War
  • 19th Century Turning Points in U.S. History
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Lincoln Reading List

Printable Reading List (pdf)
Reading List collected by the Indiana Department of Education.

Pre-School to Grade 3

Historical Fiction and Fiction

  • A. Lincoln and Me - Louise W. Bordon, Ted Lewin (illus.)
  • Abe Lincoln and the Muddy Pig - Stephen Krensky, Cresham Griffith
  • Abe Lincoln’s Hat - Martha Brenner, Donald Cook (illus.)
  • Grace’s Letter to Lincoln - Connie Roop  
  • Honest Abe - Edith Kunhardt 
  • Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers - Karen B. Winnick (illus.)
  • Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt - Deborah Hopkinson, James Ransome (illus.)

Nonfiction and Biography

  • Abraham Lincoln - Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire
  • Abe Lincoln:  The Boy Who Loved Books - Kay Winters, Nancy Carpenter (illus.)  
  • Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington, 1837-1863 - Cheryl Harness
  • Abe Lincoln Remembers - Ann Turner, Wendell Minor (illus.)
  • Lincoln’s Legacy: Blast to the Past - Stacia Deutsch, Rhody Cohon, David Wenzel (illus.) 
  • Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving - Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt Faulkner
  • Young Abe Lincoln - Cheryl Harness
Grades 4 - 8

Historical Fiction and Fiction

  • Across Five Aprils - Irene Hunt
  • After the Rain: Virginia’s Diary, Book Two, Washington D.C., 1864 - Mary Pope Osborne
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man - Elizabeth Yates
  • Bull Run - Paul Fleischman
  • Letters from Vinnie - Maureen Stack Sappey
  • Mr. Lincoln’s Drummer - G. Clifton Wisler

Nonfiction and Biography

  • Abraham Lincoln the Writer: A Treasury of His Greatest Speeches and Letters - Harold Holzer
  • Don’t Know Much About Abraham Lincoln - Kenneth C. Davis, Rob Shepperson
  • Don’t Know Much About the Civil War - Kenneth C. Davis
  • Good Brother, Bad Brother:  The Story of Edwin Booth & John Wilkes Booth - James Cross Giblin
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography - Russell Freeman
  • The Lincoln Memorial - Hal Marcovitz
  • No Better Hope: What the Lincoln Memorial Means to America - Brent K. Ashabranner
  • Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War - Tom Wheeler
Grades 9 - 12 and Adult

Historical Fiction and Fiction

  • Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
  • The Emancipator’s Wife - Barbara Hambly
  • Fire by Night - Lynn Austin
  • The Friendly Persuasion - Jessamyn West
  • The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara
  • The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
  • Rifles for Watie - Harold Keith
  • Shiloh: A Novel - Shelby Foote

Nonfiction and Biography

  • 100 Essential Lincoln Books - Michael Burkhimer
  • Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years - Carl Sandburg
  • The Assassination of Lincoln: History and Myth - Lloyd Lewis, Mark Neely
  • The Civil War: An Illustrated History - Geoffrey C. Ward, Ric Burns, Ken Burns
  • Civil War Railroads: A Pictorial Story of the War Between the States, 1861-1865 - George B. Abdill
  • Conversations With Lincoln - Charles M. Segel, David Donald
  • The Day Lincoln Was Shot - Jim Bishop
  • Fleeing for Freedom: Stories of the Underground Railroad as Told by Levi Coffin and William Still - George Hendrick
  • John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir - Asia Booth Clarke
  • Hope and Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the 4th Massachusetts Regiment - Martin Henry Blatt, Thomas J. Brown, Donald Yacovone (Eds.)
  • Lincoln - David Herbert Donald
  • Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power - Richard Carwardine
  • Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America - Garry Wills
  • Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words - Douglas L. Wilson
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln - Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln: As Reflected in His Letters and Speeches - H. Jack Lang, Abraham Lincoln
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