CyberFair Project ID: 6415

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Abraham Lincoln - A Journey to Greatness
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Cannelton Elementary School
    Cannelton, Indiana, United States

3 students, ages 9-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2010. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998 through 2000, and 2002 through 2008

Classes and Teachers: Joan Goble

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Cannelton is a small and very historical town located on the banks of the Ohio River in southern Indiana. It has a rich heritage which dates back to 1837 with the founding of the American Cannel Coal Company. It now has about 2000 residents, many of whom have lived here all of their lives. Cannelton has seen many hardships and many triumphs throughout the years yet it is still going strong. Cannelton residents want to keep our town alive and prosperous, as well as preserve its heritage.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project is devoted to our county's sixteenth president, President Abraham Lincoln. It mainly focuses on his growing up years in Kentucky and Indiana, because we feel that it was during his youth that he developed into the person that became our most beloved and respected president in the history of our country. We researched his childhood homes, and even visited his Indiana childhood home at Lincoln City. He once said of this place 'Here, I grew up'. In this project we are sharing what we found out about Abraham Lincoln's youth, and how this helped him with his 'journey to greatness'.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Probably the only problem we had was getting to go to places that are landmarks for Abraham Lincoln's growing up years. It was not possible to do this during the school day, however, we overcame this by traveling on our own time to his childhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana and also to Springfield, Illinois to the Abraham Lincoln Museum. We learned a lot about his youth in that way!:-)We also found many resources online and at libraries mainly because his 200th birthday was Feb. 12, 2009.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Abraham Lincoln is considered to be one of United States' greatest presidents. It was during his presidency that the American Civil War took place. He successfully held our union together and also ended slavery. We feel it is important to showcase the influence that his growing up years had on the formation of this great man. So, we devoted our website to highlighting his formative years in Kentucky and Indiana. We feel much of his character and beliefs were formed during this time and we want to dedicate this site to help celebrate his life and his legacy.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our project addressed several Social Studies standards for grades 3-5, including historical development of our state (Indiana) and our country. Examples of standards subjects addressed include history, geography, and civics and government. We worked cooperatively, researching Abraham Lincoln's growing up years and how they formed his character and influenced his leadership of our country. We organized the information we found and presented it in an easy to understand and comprehensive way on our website. We found out that working together can make any job easier, especially when we had so much information to sort through. Everyone had jobs to do and we worked together to help each other complete them. We feel using the Internet for learning has been highly effective for many reasons. Two of them are the Internet gave us many up-to-date, reliable resources and it gives us a way to publish our work so we can share it with the rest of the world. Creating the website itself met our language arts standards and also gave us skills in working with word processing, webpage building, researching on the Internet, photograph editing, and allowed us to use creativity skills in design. All of these are lifelong skills that will help us in the future.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

The information tools that we used include Internet, libraries, three PC computers, 2 digital cameras, scanner, Microsoft FrontPage website builder, Microsoft Image Composer photograph editor. Other software we utilized were Neighborhood Mapmaker and Timeliner, both from Tom Snyder Productions. We learned how to access and use photographs from the Library of Congress. We also took two field trips to gather information we needed. One field trip was to Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home at Lincoln City, Indiana. Another field trip was to Springfield, Illinois in order to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum there. Those two trips were probably the most valuable in our researching Abraham Lincoln's life because they gave us so much more insight into his growing up years and how they influenced the great man that he became. We felt like we took a step back in time at both places. We felt as if we knew him so much better after those trips. The Internet resources were wonderful also because we found that the Lincoln Bicentennial site, among many others, kept up-to-date lists of resources that they recommended for people to learn all they could about Lincoln's life. We found several people who allowed us permission to use their photographs and artwork to help enhance our site. (see our Bibliography 'Resources' section of our site) We did also interview a local lawyer, John Hargis, who told us many interesting facts about Lincoln that helped us create our comprehensive timeline of Lincoln's growing up years. Many books and videos on Abraham Lincoln's life were helpful in our research as well. (again, view our Bibliography - Resources section of our project).

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

In researching our project we were ambassadors when we visited Lincoln's boyhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana and asked the park rangers there questions about Abraham Lincoln's life. We told what we were doing and they were very helpful in giving us information and resources to use. We also were ambassadors when we visited our local libraries and museums to find out what we could about Abraham Lincoln's time in Southern Indiana. We were ambassadors when we used e-mail to ask for permission to use photos and other resources (see our bibliography/resources section of our website). We also contacted a local lawyer, John Hargis, who had researched Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer and told us many facts that helped us put together a comprehensive timeline. Upon completing our project we were ambassadors in many ways. Probably the biggest way is when we published our site and shared it with our school and school board. We also have presented it at the International Student Media Festival which was held in Louisville, Kentucky in October, 2009. We are happy to have our website listed in Global SchoolNet's Cyberfair because we know it also will give our website a worldwide audience!

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

We know that our project has had a positive impact already in that it has been featured in our local newspaper, The Perry County News, and has received many accolades from our fellow students, families, and our school system. During our research we entered our class and school as a Lincoln Legacy School (through the Lincoln Bicentennial website) and were able to be part of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission National Teach-In. That gave us the opportunity to be a part of a live online webcast of noted Lincoln scholars discussing Lincoln's life. That was so wonderful! We entered our project in the International Student Media Fair and it won Best in Festival for website grades 4-6. This was an honor for our school and community. We have heard from several people who viewed it who have told us how much they learned and enjoyed our site. Our teacher, Mrs. Goble, has been contacted by several people who viewed our site and gave positive feedback. We are sure that entering our project in Global SchoolNet's Cyberfair will give our project an even better chance to be shared with people around the world. We are proud of our work to teach people of Abraham Lincoln's growing up years and how they helped to form one of our country's greatest presidents.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We had many volunteers who helped us in our research. These include the many park rangers at the Lincoln Boyhood Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana. They not only helped us understand the relevance of Abraham Lincoln's growing up years in Indiana, but they gave us access to books and even Lincoln's Trunk, a traveling exhibit that we were able to take to our school and share with our fellow students. We interviewed several other people including a local attorney who has done much research on Lincoln's life, John Hargis. He even came to our school to do a presentation on Lincoln's birthday! Others who helped out include our late friend Michael Rutherford, Perry County Historian and author of the book Perry County, Indiana - Then and Now. His research gave us what we needed to tell where Abraham Lincoln's family crossed from Kentucky into Indiana, and so much more. Using the Internet we were able to e-mail several photographers and ask permission to use their photographs on our website. These photographers are Raymond Bial, Dave Berry, and R. J. Norton. We thank all of these people and everyone else who helped us in any way. A special thank you goes to our parents! Their encouragement went a long way in helping us to accomplish our goals and get our project finished.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

There were so many lessons learned, and in fact we are still learning them! We learned that history is important in that it can show us how we became what we are today. The lessons learned in the past can help us know the paths to take in the future. One specific fact that we learned was that Abraham Lincoln's youth did not offer him much of a chance for formal education, but his will to learn and to never give up is what kept him going to become the self-taught scholar and great president that he became. We know that education is the key to success and we feel that by sharing our project with others it will help others to know this also. Another idea we have learned from this project is that what we are to be in our lives we are now becoming. In other words, our future is what we make it, and we have the ability to become whatever we wish to be, if we have the ambition and the drive and the fortitude to 'go for it'. We hope that everyone who visits our website project will feel the same way. Everyone can have their own 'greatness', in their own way, and it is up to each one of us to strive to be the best we can be.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6415)

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