Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lincoln vs. Darwin -- 200 Years after their births

The Old Schoolhouse had a give-away last week (I know, if I were more on top of things, I would have let you know early enough that you could have gotten it too!)  of a book on Lincoln and Darwin (Lincoln vs. Darwin: What’s the Difference? by Deborah Wuehler) and since I did want to do something to address Lincoln and Darwin’s 200th birthday last Thursday, I was quick to go and download this.

This is part of what is apparently a new “line” of e-books, called WeE-books (because they are nice, short little e-books) that they are selling for $1.95.

What a fantastic little resource!  Free was great, but it would have been worth the $2, too.  There were four pages of text that I read aloud to my kids.  We had some great discussions about what we were reading, suggested by the author.  Eugenics, slavery, freedom... and Bible verses to read, think about, and then discuss what we think of these two men in light of what we just read.

The WeE-book also included three pages of copywork, which was really most appropriate for my 6th grader.  We did discuss the quotes though.

The other resource we really enjoyed was a podcast:  Answers... with Ken Ham.  He spent all of last week talking about Darwin, but his Feb. 12 podcast addressed Lincoln, too (Two famous birthdays -- two different legacies).  

I do have to add, though, that these did lead us into another discussion or two.  My older boys did point out that this book was rather unfairly flattering to Lincoln as far as his position on racial equality.  Having studied Lincoln a fair bit last year, they knew the Lincoln presented here differs a lot from the historical record.  My oldest also questioned some of the statements about Darwin, as it seemed to him that the book was giving Darwin credit/blame for attitudes that had been going on since long before Darwin came on the scene.  Still, the above resources led us into some interesting conversations, and connections I would never have thought to make.

What a great break from our regularly scheduled school, where we have been busy learning about Antarctica.

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