Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.


On January 18th we will all take a day to honor the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.  During the week prior, my students are learning just how important he was in our nation's history.  Here are a few of the resources I use as well as some new ideas to try! 


Martin's Big Words
by Doreen Rappaport

This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin's Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America-and the world-forever.


My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Marion Dane Bauer

 The My First Biography series brings the biggest life stories to the smallest readers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man. His words changed the way people thought, and his actions spurred them on to change the world. With simple, lyrical text and bold, kid-friendly illustrations, this book introduces Dr. King to the youngest readers and inspires them to change the world.


National Geographic Kids: Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Kitson Jazynka
National Geographic Readers are educational, high-interest, and comprehensive for children. In this title, readers will learn about the fascinating life and legacy civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this level two biography, difficult concepts are made understandable and transitioned into a more approachable manner. This includes the use of sidebars, timetables, diagrams and fun facts to hold the interest of the young reader. 


We also revisit The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf and make connections about how powerful words can be and the message behind both Martin's dream and DeRolf's text.

 Since January lends itself to creating resolutions or goals with your students, I thought it would be a great idea to connect resolutions with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream and have each student come up with a dream or goal they have.  

If you want to put your students dreams on display, you could try this mobile from Scholastic.  There is a free printable on their site.  Just click on the picture:
source: Scholastic


I just saw this one posted on Sunday and had to add it to this list of resources.  I love how the photograph adds a personal touch!
source: Fun in First

Another idea is to try a directed drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here are two options:

Jennifer @ First Grade Blue Skies is one of my go-to girls for directed drawings.  This one is part of her January drawing pack.  You can read more about it by clicking on the picture:

I also have this freebie saved from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business.  Click on the picture to grab your own copy:

After the drawings were complete, students could copy one of his quotes onto a speech bubble and display the two together.  Educlips has some adorable speech bubbles that would be perfect for this project.  You can grab those here:


I hope your students enjoy learning about the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. as much as mine always have.
Happy Teaching!

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