Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week I sent home a graphic organizer that had Martin Luther King, Jr. on it along with 3 boxes.  I asked my students to write what they already knew about him on the paper.  Most students could tell me at least one true fact about his life, but three students turned in blank pages and told me they didn't know who he was.  Another child told me she asked her mom and her mom didn't know who he was so she couldn't do the homework.  Needless to say, it was time to build some basic knowledge of his life - especially if the students were headed into a 3 day weekend in his honor.
We spent the week reading several books about Martin Luther King, Jr. A couple of the books my kiddos really enjoyed were (click on the book cover to learn more about the book from

Product Details
This was a great one because it was written more like a picture book than your traditional biography. It doesn't get into too great of detail, but gives the big ideas to readers.

National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. (Readers Bios)
This one is a lot longer and will take us a few days to get through. The reason my kiddos enjoyed this book was because they were having a great time identifying and using the nonfiction text features we have been learning about to find information.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This one my students enjoyed because it had the quotations on each page. The students were also fascinated with the way the illustrations were done.

After reading, we created a web of important information we learned about him and started working on a read & write booklet I had from Scholastic.  I think my kiddos learned some basic facts, but they still had some questions:

"Did President Obama march with Martin Luther King?"
 "Why did anyone make those laws in the first place?  It just isn't fair!"

"What would have happened if a white person had a baby that was black or if a black person had a white baby?"

"If Martin used his words to solve problems, why would someone use a gun to hurt him?"

"How long was Rosa Parks in jail for?"

"Why couldn't people just share a drinking fountain?  It seems silly to have two drinking fountains everywhere you go."

I didn't answer all of their questions and encouraged them to have a conversation at home about them.  However, I was proud that my second graders were working hard on thinking questions :)

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