Informational Reading- Lincoln: A Photobiography


Freedman, R. (1987). Lincoln: A Photobiography. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

Informational Text

Grades 6-8

When I was younger my mother took my brother and I on a road trip across the country and when we were in Illinois, we stopped at Lincoln’s log cabin. Reading this book brought me back to that trip because it talked about his early life and where his life started in a small rural setting. I liked how there were lots of different images throughout the book and each section talked about something different. It was lengthy but it was an interesting biography to read about and I especially enjoyed learning about the emancipation proclamation.


The thing that I liked most about this book was how it introduced Lincoln as someone who chopped wood for a living and grew up in a small cabin but then soon evolved into this passionate politician who truly cared about everyone. The story of how he first witnessed acts of oppression on slaves was very amazing to read about because that is what prompted him to take action and to think up the emancipation proclamation. I think young readers can learn a lot from Lincoln, like his drive for success and spreading fairness to everyone and making sure there is an equal quality of life for all people. This would be a great book to use in a history unit, and maybe supplement it with a historical fiction text. The photos were also really engaging and I think a middle school aged student would enjoy this book more than others because of the diverse content and wide variety of images.

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After reading, Lincoln: A Photobiography, list the things that you found surprising, shocking, or inspirational.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did the photobiography style of text help to paint a picture of what kind of man Lincoln was?
  2. Have you ever felt so passionate about something that you stood up for it? What was it? How does that relate to Lincoln and his life?
  3. What is one life lesson that you learned from this book or specifically from Lincoln’s life?


Choose one of your favorite images from the book and write an informational but creative text that helps to describe the image. Use the facts and notes that you’ve taken from the book to help with this. Once you have completed that activity, create a small photobiography of your life. You can use all pictures or just one picture with text.


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