Lesson Plans Fillmore, Abigail


Fillmore, Abigail
Let's Go Digging! In Search of the Mastodon
When Abigail Fillmore was only three years old, the very first mastodon fossils were discovered on a farm in New York State.  Since then, many mastodon fossils have been found, including whole skeletons.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Fillmore, Abigail
The Education of Abigail Powers Fillmore
Abigail Powers is known most famously for creating a library in the White House.  Like Laura Bush, she was a teacher, and she developed a love of books very early in her life.  Unlike Abigail Adams, Abigail Powers did attend a school—New Hope Academy, in New York State.  But she began teaching at 16!
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Fillmore, Abigail
Why Do We Have Libraries?
Abigail Fillmore was very interested in books and libraries, as is First Lady Laura Bush.  Mrs. Fillmore actually created the first White House library, a contribution for which she is remembered today. 
Skill: Elementary School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Fillmore, Abigail
Popular Heroes of the 1800s
Just as there are popular cultural heroes in the twenty-first century, the 1800s had cultural heroes, too. Often raised to the status of legend, these men and women served as examples to a young nation.  As a teacher and librarian, Abigail Fillmore would have told some of these stories and worked with written material about them.
Skill: Elementary School     Category: Sports and Popular Culture

Fillmore, Abigail
So! You Want to Start Your Own Political Party?
The first half of the 19th century was a time when a number of small, issue-oriented political parties were founded.  One of these, the so-called “Know-Nothing” Party, ran Millard Fillmore for re-election in 1856.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Fillmore, Abigail
What? No Books in the White House?
When Abigail and Millard Fillmore moved into the White House, they found that there were no books in the house.  Both of them were real lovers of books, and both set about to create a White House library—for themselves and for future Presidential families.
Skill: Middle School     Category: First Ladies' Lives

Fillmore, Abigail
The Romance of the Clipper Ship
Although the steam ship came into use during Abigail Fillmore’s lifetime, it was the Clipper Ship—those ships we now call “Tall Ships”—that carried most of the cargo and certainly captured the imagination of the population.  Travel to Europe, around the horn (Cape Horn, before the Panama Canal was built) to California, to the south seas—all was done on the large and beautiful sailing ships, called Clipper Ships because they were so fast.
Skill: Middle School     Category: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Fillmore, Abigail
A Star-Studded Senate: The Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was an omnibus bill that the Congress passed with the strong support of then-President Millard Fillmore, in the hope of preserving the Union.  Interestingly, his wife, Abigail just as strongly counseled against his supporting it, saying it would cost him the next election.  It did.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Law, Politics and Govt

Fillmore, Abigail
Lady Lovelace and the Computer
In 1834, while Millard Fillmore served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Abigail and the two children lived in Washington, an English inventor named Charles Babbage designed what he called an analytical engine—in fact, the first effort to build a computer.  It is unknown whether the Fillmores knew of this invention; perhaps they did.  It is pretty clear, however, that even if they had known about it, they would not have thought it was of much importance.  No one really did, except Lady Lovelace.
Skill: High School/College     Category: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech

Fillmore, Abigail
"Save Us From the Mischiefs and Scandals of an Uncultivated Offspring!"
One of the things that sets Abigail Fillmore apart from other First Ladies is that she was responsible for establishing the first library in the White House.  Libraries, then as now, were important educating institutions, and she saw a real need to stock a respectable number of different kinds of books in the “President’s house.”
Skill: High School/College     Category: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

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