Monday, February 11, 2013

Main Street U.S.A: Abraham Lincoln

With the whole park of Disneyland before your eyes, most visitors look beyond Main Street, its waving flagpole, quaint buildings and fictitious businesses, and the clomping horses pulling their carriages. But for keen eyes, it's a look back to a living and breathing Marceline, Missouri-inspired town square.

Walt Disney said, "For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories. For younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of their grandfather's youth."

While walking through Main Street, one can hear the clanging on the fire engine or even the lively music of the Firehouse Five Band, see the lamp lighting the window above the firehouse to signify Walt's staying presence, mosey into shops to sample ice cream, coffee, and baked goods, hear a moving oration by an animatronic Abraham Lincoln, or slip into the Main Street Cinema to catch classic Mickey Mouse cartoons.

With only a few weeks before our vacation to Disneyland, we are embarking on a simple unit study of Main Street, focusing on Abraham Lincoln (a fitting study close to his birthday and President's Day), firefighters, and a side of classic cartoons and ice cream.

Last week, we learned about Honest Abe.

Social Studies: The life of Abraham Lincoln through a living history

We read Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire's beautifully illustrated book Abraham Lincoln .

The pages were large enough to pore over, and it was written in a clear and enjoyable story form. We mainly focused on Abe's youth the first day. We also watched a video, Animated Hero Classics: Abraham Lincoln.

Below is a clip from the show, but we watched the entire episode through Discovery Education:

After learning about Lincoln's simple childhood, we made a version of the log cabin in which he grew up.

The idea came from Enchanted Learning, which has an array of President's Day crafts as well as worksheets about many of our presidents.

Character Study: Honesty

Abraham Lincoln is still revered for his honesty. We watched Adventures for the Book of Virtues: Abraham Lincoln, which showcased events in young Abe's life, in which he chose honesty, and the story of a honest student and a man who also elected to be honest rather than scheme his way to quick fortune.

When we visit Disneyland in a few weeks, we will be stopping in to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln on Main Street.

To hear about other Disneyland-inspired unit studies, please visit Destination Disneyland Unit Studies!

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