Abe Lincoln's Dream

Written and Illustrated By: Lane Smith

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations and Text:

Give your child time to explore the cover and illustrations before beginning your read-through. Allow him/her to make predictions about what will happen in the story by asking:

Where do you think this story will take place? What makes you think that?

What does it look like the little girl is doing? Where do you think she is leading him?

What do you think his dream was about? Do you think it was a scary dream? Happy dream? Sad dream?

Do you know anything about Abraham Lincoln?

Give your child a brief introduction to Abraham Lincoln by saying, “Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. During his time, the United States were split between the North and South states and he worked to reunite the country and make it what it is today, which is why he was such an important president. Let’s see what his dream was about.”

As You Read

Encourage your child to pay close attention to the illustrations. These incredible pictures are quite engaging and tell a lot of the story. For example, when someone claims to see Lincoln’s ghost on his birthday, see if your child notices that Lincoln is peeking behind a pillar in the upper right hand corner of the illustration. Also, when Lincoln and Quincy go to the moon to see where American astronauts landed, ask, “What is Quincy showing Lincoln? Why is she showing him this?”

Vocabulary Building:

Help your child define new words by pausing and using the words and illustrations around them to discover their meanings. Also, Abraham Lincoln uses phrases from his time to describe what he sees on his journey, so help your child learn what those mean as well, given each situation. Examples of new words and phrases in Abe Lincoln’s Dream include:

1. FIB



Making Connections:

Lincoln has a recurring dream that he is on a ship sailing toward an unknown shore. This seems to be a metaphor for his uncertainty about the future of the country that he had before his death. Ask your child, “Do you have any dreams that are recurring, or happen over and over? If so, what is it about? If not, can you remember the last dream you had? What happened? Why do you think you had that dream? Lincoln had his dream because he didn’t know where the country was headed and he was concerned for the future.”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret:

To ensure comprehension, inquire about what happened in the story and the importance of certain events. For example, ask your child questions like:

Why was Lincoln sad when Quincy met him?

Where did Quincy take him? Why did she take him on this journey?

What were some things that Lincoln saw?

What do you think about Abe’s jokes? Do you think they are funny? What is a funny joke you know?

How did Lincoln feel at the end of the story? How do you know this?

Quincy comes to the White House for a tour but she ends up giving Lincoln a tour of the United States that rest his spirits, assuring him that his dream of a great nation was realized. Be sure to read the Afterword, which has more information Lincoln’s dream and the “presidential pooches” featured in this story.

Activity: Make Lincoln’s Hat and Learn More About Him


Inspired by Spoonful

Supplies: 7” paper plate, black construction paper, scissors, white craft glue, black acrylic paint, and a paintbrush

Don the former president’s famous headwear and watch the interesting video listed below to learn more about the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

  1. Place the paper plate right side up and paint it with black paint.
  2. While that dries, line 2 sheets of construction paper horizontally with the long sides at the top and bottom and glue them together at one end.
  3. When the paper plate and the construction paper are dry, roll the construction paper up so that the two ends touch and it fits in the top of the plate, leaving enough plate for the hat brim.
  4. Glue the rolled paper together to secure and hold for several minutes until the glue dries.
  5. Place the hate tube on top of the plate and put a generous line of glue around the bottom of the construction paper to secure it to the plate.
  6. Place a small stack of construction paper on the top of the hat to help give it weight and allow the glue to hold.
  7. Now poke a hole in the middle of the paper plate and cut out an opening big enough to fit the crown of your child’s head.

Now it’s time to learn more about Lincoln! Watch this video and discuss some of the things that you and your child find interesting as you watch or once it’s done. Also, let your child know some of the things that you learned about Lincoln from the video that you may not have known before.