“I have a dream….” Famous words by a notorious man. By the time kids get to third or fourth grade, they know who Martin Luther King, Jr. is. They have heard “Martin’s Big Words” and other books over and over again. How do you teach them something about MLK that they HAVEN’T heard yet? How do you share his important contributions to our country? How do you make it meaningful to them?
Here are a few of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. resources, ideas, and activities:
1. Get some background information:
2. Watch some of his speeches.
3. Watch a biography of his life.
4. Read a biography of his life–
This picture book is a great nonfiction resource at more of an upper grade level: A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Picture Book Biography). And this is a through chapter book, while still being a quick read: Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
5. Take a “close”r look at the speeches–
This pack by Shelly Rees (Appletastic: Blossoming in 5th Grade) includes a close read of his famous speech as well as an activity in which kids create a timeline of his life.
In this ELA pack, your kids will work on timelines, close reading, and even some fun activities.
6. Have the kids FLIP for learning–
This pack by Jenn at 4mulaFun includes flippables, word problems, and more
7. Get interactive!
Let the kids interact with this interactive lesson by Sweet Integrations. Use the included Powerpoint activity, writing ideas, and timeline.
8. Don’t just teach it on one day!
This January homework pack from Performing in Education allows kids to really get to know the material while completing close reads for homework all month long.
9. Head to the Web!
- Take your students to the lab to explore sites like The King Center. This page includes many digital archived documents from Martin Luther King. Very cool to explore!
- Martin Luther King Jr. Online (**Warning–This page includes ads)
10. Get crafty–
Let kids express what they know or have learned about Martin’s life by creating something. They could design a stamp that depicts something from his life or maybe make a collage of his life. You could even have students make a “Tagxedo” (or something similar) using words to describe him. You could do this on the computer or have kids design their own.
No matter which way you choose to teach about Martin Luther King’s life and accomplishments, have fun with it! Let the kids see how his choices have helped change our history. And, let them know that they too can dream big!