Abe Out Loud
Today's Snack: They say Abraham Lincoln
was so skinny, he looked like a bean pole, or the fence rails that he split with
an ax out of logs as a young man. So for today's snack, slice celery and
zucchini into long, thin sticks, and dip them with a few rinsed, whole green
beans in ranch dip or some mayonnaise with mustard stirred in.
quotes, printed out
Memorizing lines from famous
speeches is a great way to build your brain, and also to get to know the famous
people who have shaped American history. One of the best of them was President
He had a wonderful way with words,
and used fairly simple ones, which makes it enjoyable to quote him. Here are
some of his most famous ones, below. You may need to look up the pronunciation
and meaning of some of these words in the dictionary.
Write a code for you to remember the
pronunciation of these words from Lincoln's quotes. Put the syllables that are
emphasized in capital letters, and add a brief definition. For example, for the
first word, you might write PROV-ih-dence - foresight, care and guidance of God.
Now look up the other words:
Any time you are speaking in public - even
in the classroom - it is important to know how to pronounce words correctly. Otherwise,
your audience will think you are stupid! So get into the habit of looking in
the dictionary to check how to pronounce unfamiliar words, and what they mean.
You'll have a bigger vocabulary, which is a fantastic asset toward success.
These quotes have been broken up
into phrases - partial sentences. You may want to take a breath in between each
one, or at least just pause. Breaking up the quote in this way allows you to
use your voice to emphasize certain words.
Often, the last word in a phrase deserves a
little more attention. Speaking in phrases, rather than sentences, helps you
convey, or deliver, the meaning better. You don't want to sound monotonous!
Natural speech has hills and valleys of sound - it's like music - and so when
you speak out loud to others, you should try to make your words have a pleasing
pattern, and vary your pitch and tone.
As you read and memorize these thoughts, practice
how to get them across well in your oral communication. If you understand what
you are saying very well, you will naturally put the right inflection
(in-FLECK-shun), or change in the pitch and tone of your voice, to bring the
meaning out clearly.
Putting a speech or long quote into phrases
also helps you learn how to balance the need to get these ideas out into the
air . . . with the need to take in a little air while you're doing it. To
BREATHE, in other words!
Beginning speakers often rush through their
presentations barely taking a breath. It's not very fun to speak that way, and
it stresses out the audience. Think of giving a speech as if you are
participating in a conversation, only the other side is silent. Try to speak as
you would if you HADN'T memorized these lines, but were saying them on your
So work on memorizing and then delivering
these quotes phrase by phrase. If you break down any task into smaller chunks,
like memorizing phrases out of a long paragraph, it makes it a lot easier.
If you are by yourself, then your
assignment is to memorize these quotes, repeating them over and over until the
"flow" is there. It should be if you are speaking these aloud straight from
your own mind, not reading them off the paper in a boring drone. Practice into
a mirror to let yourself see how natural or unnatural you look and sound.
Then say these quotes aloud to someone, get
their feedback, and discuss Lincoln's ideas, and his impact on our country.
If you are in a group, then divide
these quotes, memorize them, and recite the quotes aloud, taking turns.
You can split up longer quotes so that two
or three or more students participate. Be sure to discuss the meaning of these
quotes afterwards. And say them with feeling! These are some of the most
important and most cherished ideas in American history.
Work on your public speaking skills
as you do this project. Maintain eye contact fairly constantly with your
audience, whether it is one person or an auditorium full. Keep your voice
musical - allow yourself to speak with emotions and with highs and lows.
Neither speak too high or too low,
too slow or too fast.
Speak from your gut, not your throat or
your nose. You should be able to feel air coming out of your mouth if you put
the palm of your hand in front of your face; that's how you know you are
drawing breath from your lungs as you speak, which will give your voice more
Imagine, as you say these words,
that you are Abraham Lincoln, and your job as President is to unite all of the
states around the principles of freedom. Those principles commanded that the practice of slavery had to
end. So let the passion come out in your voice. The best way to be persuasive
is to mean what you say. People are smart, and they can tell a phony.
So "sell it" the way Lincoln did -
and thank goodness we had a man like him in charge during those darkest days in
American history. That's when our country almost split up because some of us
actually believed that it was all right for one man to own another. Slavery is
still going on in our world, especially in Africa and the Far East. So be ready
to make a difference and help stop it. If slavery is not something that you
should join Lincoln in speaking out against, I don't know what is.
slavery is not wrong,
I did not so think,
I hear anyone
feel a strong impulse
see it tried on him
we shall suppose
one of those offenses which,
the providence of God,
which, having continued
His appointed time,
now wills to remove,
that He gives to both North and South
the woe due to those by whom the offense came,
we discern therein
departure from those divine attributes
the believers in a living God
ascribe to him?
the conduct of men
designed to be influenced,
unassuming persuasion -
ever be adopted.
is an old and a true maxim, that
'a drop of honey
a gallon of gall.'"
as I must think,
real zeal for the spread of slavery,
of the monstrous injustice
it deprives our republican example
its just influence in the world -
the enemies of free institutions,
taunt us as hypocrites -
the real friends of freedom
doubt our sincerity. . . ."
"A house divided against itself
believe this government cannot endure,
half-slave and half-free.
do not expect the Union to be dissolved -
do not expect the house to fall -
I do expect it will cease to be divided.
will become all one thing or all the other.
the opponents of slavery
arrest the further spread of it . . .
its advocates will push it forward,
it shall become alike
in all the States,
as well as new -
as well as South.
are not enemies,
must not be enemies.
passion may have strained,
must not break our bonds of affection.
mystic chords of memory,
from every battlefield and patriot grave
every living heart and hearthstone
over this broad land,
yet swell the chorus of the Union,
surely they will be,
the better angels of our nature.
malice toward none;
charity for all;
firmness in the right,
God gives us to see the right,
us strive on
finish the work we are now in;
bind up the nation's wounds;
care for him who shall have borne the battle,
for his widow, and his orphan -
do all which may achieve and cherish
just and lasting peace,
with all nations.