February is such an exciting month, and especially this year with talk of the Olympics along with those we celebrate as part of Black History Month. For more on this, please sign up for our free weekly activities. This week we feature Ruby Bridges, all grown up and still working for equality in New Orleans. Additionally, February brings us Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. This week I wanted to share a favorite art activity from our days in the classroom. I often hear from our former students and this is one of the crafts these students remember with affection.
I often read books that featured the presidents, but because this post focuses on Abraham Lincoln, I’ll mention a few of my favorite Lincoln books:
Looking At Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters
Honest Abe Lincoln by David A. Adler
After reading these books and making a class list about the life of Abraham Lincoln, we study pennies. I hand out a penny to each child and have them discuss ways these coins are alike and ways they are different. Of course, there may be much discussion about the years these pennies were minted. If I really want to get young minds working, I often go through my pennies and use only those coins that were minted in the birth years of my students. That makes the activity more meaningful!
Next we do a bit of science and clean the dirty pennies using a solution of white vinegar and salt. Children love to watch the transformation!
Review the life of Abraham Lincoln, taking special note of his young life in a log cabin. Hand out craft sticks so children can make their own log cabins.
Then have them use some math to cut out shapes: a square for the window, a rectangle for the door, and a triangle for the roof.
Finally, have children place their clean Lincoln penny in the log cabin window!
NAEYC – 2.C.03., 2.F.06., 2.J.05., 2.L.11.
Head Start – I.D.4., III.C.1., V.C.3., X.C.1.
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