Mr. Lincoln’s Boys

By Staton Rabin


This is an excellent read aloud for helping children to see President Lincoln as a real person while also learning about life during his presidency. In this story, we get a glimpse of President Lincoln as a father when we meet his two sons and experience life in the White House. Mr. Lincoln’s boys were extremely mischievous. In this story, we see how White House staff reacts to their antics which is quite different from President Lincoln’s reaction. Children and adults alike love this story!


This story is also good for working with increased levels of DOK (Depth of Knowledge). Please scroll down to read the possible activities with DOK level listed. The structures referred to are Cooperative Learning Structures, but you do not need to use those specific structures.



Using vocabulary words from the story on individual cards, the students in small groups will do the following:

1. take turns defining the words. DOK1

2. categorize the words and label the categories DOK3

3. use the words and story title to make a prediction of what will happen in the story. DOK3



1. What does the action in the story remind you of …

A roller-coaster ride, a leisurely stroll, a river rafting trip, or a ____? Why? DOK 3

Structure: Four Corners


2. Higher Level Questions from Kagan Higher Level Questions for Language Arts

Structure: Fan N Pick or Inside Outside Circles


Plot Questions:How does the age of the main characters (children) influence their actions?


What one word would you use to describe the plot? DOK 3


How does the setting affect the action in the story? DOK 2


Setting Questions

How is the action in the story dependent on the setting? DOK 3


Story Structure Questions

At what point did you like the main character the most? The least? Why? DOK 3


Character Questions

What can you say about the main character’s family? Support your answer …DOK 3


What did the main character do to make you like or dislike him?


Why is the main character like or unlike you? DOK 3


Book ReviewImagine yourself being interviewed as the author of the book, What would you say were your reasons for writing the book?


If you were to write a critique of this book, what would the headline say?


Which character do you most strongly disagree with or disapprove of and why?


In what other time period could this story have taken place? What would change because of it?


What might another possible title be and why?


3. In 5 words or less, how would you describe Abraham Lincoln based on this story?

Support your answer with details from the story. DOK 3

Structure: Numbered Heads Together


4. Compare/Contrast Lincoln’s boys with yourself, boys today or with children in your class.

Depending on audience use the item that works best. Use compare/contrast graphic organizer



5. What if you were the son or daughter of the President and living in the White House?

What are your thoughts and feelings?

Structure: Round Robin


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