1-2-3 Come Do Some Martin Luther King Activities With Me
Martin Luther King Day is just around the corner, Monday, the 19th, so if you're looking for some ideas, you've come to the right place.
Although I remember the Civil Rights Movement quite vividly, what went on in the 60's is quite different from today. Because of this, I think it’s extremely important to teach a bit of history, taking your students on a trip through the past, to help them get a feel for what that time period was like.
In today's blog I want to feature some of my favorite MLK downloads that have been quite popular. Hopefully they're just what you're looking for.
To peak student's interest, start the day off by leaving a Happy Martin Luther King Day bookmark on their desks. I designed 7 for you to choose from.
Throughout the day, use them as incentives, and pass them out as children complete tasks. Challenge them to collect all seven to share with their friends.
Can anyone tell you who Martin Luther King Jr. was or why we have a holiday to celebrate him? Most of my students had no knowledge of Dr. King.
After your studies, at the end of the day, have students complete their KWL by writing in what they learned.
Reading several stories, is an easy and interesting way to introduce the concept of discrimination and diversity, as well as find out about the life of MLK.
Click on the link for my 24 all-time favorite books for Martin Luther King Day.
These are tried and true resources, to help little ones wrap their heads around complex concepts, and really helped my Y5's comprehend the hard-to-understand stuff.
One of my personal favorites, and my Y5's favorite story for our MLK unit, is The Sneeches, by Dr. Seuss. I checked out YouTube to see if they had a video of The Sneeches and found several.
Click on the link to take a look at this short 12-minute full-version of The Sneeches! I think your kiddo's will really enjoy it.
They can easily see the unfairness of "stars on bellies" and in the end, agree with the author that such practices were cruel and pointless.
Another way to make the 60's real for your students is to have them watch some brief videos about Dr. King's life and listen to a portion of his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
To help you give your students more background information, I compiled a list of 95-Interesting Fast Facts About Martin Luther King.
I enjoyed wading through more than 40 websites and reading over 20 children's books, plus a few biographies and then fact-checked discrepancies.
I thought I knew quite a bit, however, I learned many more amazing things! (I was unaware that he skipped 9th and 12th grade and went to college at the age of 15!)
Read through the pages, highlight what you feel is relevant and appropriate for your kiddos, and then share: 95-Interesting Fast Facts About Martin Luther King.
After reading some stories and watching a few videos, toss in some technology, and have your students take a short online MLK quiz.
For more reinforcement, and to further check comprehension, have children show you what they've learned, by making an MLK Flip For Facts booklet.
I've included a list of kid-friendly websites, a page of mini photographs, plus a list of fun facts they can use.
Another way to help your students learn about Martin Luther King Jr., is through vocabulary building. There is a plethora of new words that your students will come across as they listen to stories, read books, search for facts, and watch video clips.
It's important to make sure that your kiddos understand their meanings. For example, diversity is a relatively new word for youngsters. Helping them understand that we are all different, yet we are all also, the same, is a great way to explain things.
The people over at Kids Activites Blog, suggest comparing a brown chicken egg to a white one. I LOVE this idea. They look different on the outside, but what happens when you crack them open? Students discuss how they are exactly the same on the inside, then relate it to what they are learning.
You could also do this with M&M's. Have students suck the colorful candy coating off, then stick out their tongue to check things out. What conclusions can they draw? How is ethnicity similar?
An excellent book to read about diversity is Sesame Street's We Are Different, We Are The Same by Bobbi Jane Kates.
The quirky rhyming format makes it a wonderful read aloud: "We're different. Our noses are different. We are the same. Our noses are the same. They breathe and sniff and sneeze and whiff."
Because of all the new vocabulary involved in studying Martin Luther King, and the era he lived in, I made a list of 62-words that relate to Dr. King, that students will undoubtedly come across while studying about him.
To help build their vocabularies, select whatever words you'd like your students to learn, and have them add the words to their MLK Dictionary, where they write, define and use the word in a sentence.
The packet includes 2 different covers (one for upper and one for lower el), an alphabetical list of 62-MLK-related words, plus 62 trace and write word cards. Click on the link to view/download the MLK "My Words" dictionary.
Another fun way to immerse your students in this new vocabulary, is by searching for words in a word find. I've designed 2 word searches for Martin Luther King Day (1 for lower el, as well as an upper el version).
Students search for words from left to right and top to bottom. Tell students to start with the first word and look for the initial letter, as well as chunks of letters. They will undoubtedly come across other words while they do that.
Have them highlight the words that they find, as well as cross those words off the list. Work from left to right first, and then any words that they haven't found will probably be from top to bottom.
Word searches are great for Daily 5 Word Work, early finishers, sub folders or a fun homework assignment. I've included answer keys as well. Click on the link to view/download the Martin Luther King Day Word Searches.
If you'd like to see a list of my favorite quotations of Martin Luther King, click on the link.
Another simple Daily 5 word work activity, is to challenge students to think of as many words as they can, using the letters in Martin Luther King.
I've included a list of 525 words that I thought of. While I was making my list, I thought how appropriate that many of these words could be directly associated with Dr. King's life. i.e he was a great man, and gave the ultimate sacrifice, so I decided to assign the extra assignment of having students highlight the words they thought of, that were relevant to MLK's life.
Click on the link to view/download the Martin Luther King Word Challenge.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you found a few things to help make your Martin Luther King Day celebration special.
Be sure and pop back tomorrow, as I'll be featuring some super-fun, and thought-provoking MLK writing prompts. It's time for me to whip a meatloaf together.
I enjoy cooking almost as much as I do designing activities. Almost.... Actually, they are similar, as they both involve creating something, and then cleaning up a big mess as I go. :-)