From Log House to U.S. President

From Log House to U.S. President lesson plan

Several U.S. presidents were born in or lived in log homes, including Abraham Lincoln. Make a replica of one or their homes to make history come alive.

  • 1.

    Research information about the homes where U.S. presidents were born and lived. Choose one president whose heritage included a log home. Find out about its size and shape before constructing a replica.

  • 2.

    Use an armature on which to build the log home, such as a small milk carton. Roll out enough Crayola Model Magic® logs to cover the outside of your structure. Make sure they are all the right length to fit.

  • 3.

    Press logs on the sides of the carton, alternating them with thin layers of mortar. Mortar is used in between logs to hold them together and fill in any cracks. White Model Magic looks like mortar.

  • 4.

    Add a front door and windows to the building. Just roll out and cut squares or rectangles of compound. Press them in place.

  • 5.

    For the roof, add shingles, such as these that look like weathered wood. Flatten Model Magic and cut it into small squares. Overlap the shingles until the roof is covered.

  • 6.

    Lincoln’s home had a fireplace or squirrel-tail oven attached to one end. The chimney was made of bricks. The oven stone was covered with logs on the outside. This was used for cooking. Build your oven with logs and mortar on the bottom and bricks and mor

  • 7.

    Add some authentic scenery if you like, such as a fence around the house, a tall tree to play in, or a field of wheat. Model Magic air-dries to the touch overnight and is completely dry in about 3 days.

  • 8.

    Share information about the log home you built, and its famous occupant, with your classmates.


  • Students use their research skills to identify how and where early U.S. Presidents lived.
  • Students construct a detailed, realistic, authentic replica of a log home lived in by one U.S. president.
  • Students orally describe the location and details of their presidential homes.


  • Find out more about the log-home building process, yesterday and today. What type and size of logs were/are used? How were/are they prepared? With what was/is mortar made? How were/are windows added? Of what were early windows made? Discover different typ
  • Famous people often live in interesting homes. Research different houses and how they were made, such as the White House, Versailles, and Monticello. What materials were used? When were they constructed? In a small group, build a model of one of these hou
  • Discuss building materials and where they originate. Develop a spelling list of some of these items. Locate the areas on a map.
  • Write a story about your dream house, what it would look like, where you would build it, and of what materials it would be made.
  • Assessment: Students accurately identify a U.S. President who lived in a log cabin. Students build an authentic replica of that log home. Students orally present correct information about the log home to classmates.