Happy birthday 

CPS students celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

February 17, 2009

CPS students celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday with various events and activities across the district. The activities were designed to engage the students in history and in the life of Abraham Lincoln.


Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, 615 W. Kemper Place, hosted a range of activities to honor its school’s namesake. Costumed students struck poses in four “tableau vivants”—becoming living art, by holding specific positions—and “gallery tours” were given by student docents.


In two assemblies, the school’s kindergarten, third-, seventh- and eighth-grade students performed, with seventh-grade students giving a choral reading of the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln Elementary was erected and named Abraham Lincoln Elementary School six years after Lincoln’s assassination. It’s the only Chicago school with the full name of the 16th president.


Seventh- and eighth-grade students at Nightingale Elementary School, 5250 S. Rockwell St., attended an assembly for a reading of the “Gettysburg Address” and “O Captain!, my Captain,” and watched the movie “Lincoln.” Preschool and kindergarten students wore their hand-made stove pipe hats and Abraham Lincoln masks. First- to third-grade students displayed birthday cards they made for Lincoln. Fourth- to sixth-grade students displayed their hand-made log cabins.


Sixth-grade students at Pilsen Community Academy, 1420 W. 17th St., completed a special art project that deconstructed the Gettysburg Address, pulling out important phrases, such as “All men are created equal,” and illustrating what these phrases represent to them. The activity required the students to look deeply into the Gettysburg Address and understand the weight of its words.


First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books to children, hosted a reading party at Clara Barton Elementary School, 7650 S. Wolcott, as part of its Lincoln Legacy Initiative to End Illiteracy. The Lincoln Legacy Initiative focuses on the importance of literacy and education. As part of the First Book program, all Barton students will receive a brand new book to take home.


Last month, students at LaSalle Language Academy, 1734 N. Orleans St., shared their research on Abraham Lincoln with Lincoln himself, so to speak.


An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln visited students at the school to learn how they are using the technology and print resources of today to research his life.


Lincoln mingled with groups of students gathered in the library to share their discoveries.


Learn more about the First Book organization.