Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching Ideas

 Don't you just love those special little notes from students? Had to throw that in the collage mix because it just made my day.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a make up snow day for our school.  (Of course with this crazy Indiana snowy weather we ended up with a 2 hour delay today.) I enjoy teaching the students about Martin Luther King Jr. because he had such an important impact on our world today. Student always love hearing about him too. 

I always start the lesson with a twist. I ask all my students to come to the floor and I say all the students with brown eyes can bring a chair from their desk to sit on and everyone else must sit on the floor.  Today the students were looking around to see who had brown eyes and some asked others what color of eyes they had because they weren't sure. I heard grumbles under their breath like, "That's not fair. Why do the kids with brown eyes get to sit in chairs? I wish I had brown eyes." Then I ask them if they know what special holiday today is and begin explaining about it and the reason I let some students sit in chairs. People were treated unfairly because of the color of their skin.  Could you help it that you weren't born with brown eyes? Can people help the color of skin they are born with? Is it fair to treat others differently just because they have something that is a different color? The lesson has a great impact. 

My students listened very intently to the book A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. It is right at their level of understanding. We had lots of great discussion before, during, and after the story. Many student asked. "Is this a true story?" I still think it is hard for kids to believe that people could be so cruel. 

I also used Brainpop Jr. today. Our school has a subscription and I use it all the  time. If you have not checked it out you just have too. Annie and Mobie are the cutest characters and students just love their little movies. There is always a free movie of the week and this week is Martin Luther King Jr.  There is also a free app where you can view the movie of the week. What is nice about the app is your students can take an easy and hard quiz on every movie they watch. The app has a place where you can type your name and save your score so if you class shares one ipad you can look back to see how your students did.

Read Works also has a wealth of free reading passages for teachers to chose from. All you have to do is sign up. There are numerous selections that are great to go along with Martin Luther King Day. Many have test questions with them too. We used the passage in the collage picture above. It was right at most of my students reading level which I love.

I plan to continue the week with learning about Rosa Parks.  They had lots of questions about her too.

Have you seen the Google image today?  What a great reminder of a wonderful man.

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