One of my favorite people in history to teach about is Martin Luther King, Jr. I always couldn’t wait to read multiple books about this incredible man and his life and mission with the students in my classroom. I had so many wonderful books in my classroom library that celebrated this incredible man’s legacy and I would spend a few weeks in class trying to connect as many lessons as I could to his life using these Martin Luther King, Jr. for Kids activities.
Whether the lesson was to learn about his accomplishments and what he did for civil rights in our country, or help my students learn a comprehension skill from one of the books about him, or teach a vocabulary lesson from an incredible read aloud that I shared. I did anything I could to spend as much time learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life in all areas of my classroom instruction.
These are just some of the MANY books I would read during the month of January to my students. Not only would I read many of them aloud, I would put an entire basket of books about MLK, Jr.’s life in my writing station because when my student would visit the Work on Writing station during rotations, I would have multiple activities for them to work on each week.
( I had an entire class set of this book that I purchased from Scholastic and I used it for a reading group lesson.)
Martin Luther King, Jr. for Kids
I would love to share with you some of the interactive activities we did during the month of January to celebrate MLK, Jr.’s life and legacy! Follow along for these fun and rigorous Martin Luther King, Jr. for Kids activities!
One of my all time favorite activities that I would do with my students was my MLK, Jr. Flip Flap Book®. This was an activity that we would work on each day for about 2-3 days. This was usually our first activity that we would work on during the month of January.
The first thing I would do is a share a read aloud with my class about MLK, Jr.. Typically, it was Martin’s Big Words. I LOVE this book! Prior to reading this books, I would always do a mini KWL chart because I really wanted to get a feel for what they knew about MLK, Jr. That allowed us to write some information about him on our chart that the students could refer to after the story.
When we completed reading the book, I would ask them what they learned about him from the story and we would add that information to our KWL chart. Then, I would ask them to think about what we read and learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and we would brainstorm a list of words that could describe such an incredible man.
Having this KWL chart and brainstormed list of his character traits, that would give the students the appropriate amount of knowledge to help them begin working on their flip flap book.
On the first page of the MLK, Jr. Flip Flap Book®, they would write about who MLK, Jr. was and what his “dream” was about.
On the second page, they would use some of the words that we brainstormed about his character and write about what he did to show that he possessed that character trait.
On the third page, the students would complete a Was, Had, and Wanted chart about MLK, Jr.
On the the last page of the MLK, Jr. Flip Flap Book®, they would complete a venn diagram comparing themselves to MLK, Jr.
And…this is what the completed book looked like when it was finished. My students LOVED creating this flip flap book!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Activity – I Had a Dream Speech
Another activity that I would have my students do was the I Have a Dream activity. This is where we we discuss what MLK, Jr.’s dream was and would also watch little clips of it on video as well. We would discuss what he said, what those words meant, and why they were so important.
I felt like digging in a little big deeper into his speech was important. So we would write about his I Have a Dream speech and and then also compare ourselves to MLK, Jr. Here is how this activity looked when we completed it. (Note, we did the flip flap book, I wouldn’t have them compare themselves twice.)
I would also then create a bulletin board display in the hallway with our completed activities!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Activity – Peace Sign Accordion Book
I also mentioned above that I really enjoyed reading about MLK, Jr. during our guided reading block. I had multiple copies of this book from Scholastic and we would use the facts from this book and my own book about MLK, Jr. to sequence the events in his life. This was another fun activity the students enjoyed. I think they always loved these types of activities because they weren’t just boring worksheets with questions. They were fun projects that were interactive and also rigorous at the same time.
Work on Writing Station – Martin Luther King, Jr. Activity
As I said above, I also expected my students to work on researching Martin’s life when they went to my Work on Writing Station. Here is what my Work on Writing Station looked like during the month of January!
After they would finish this researching activity, they would put in in my “To Be Checked” bin. I would review their writing and circle any words that were misspelled with a pencil. Then, they would use their Word Books to correct their spelling. When completed, they would glue it into their Writing Interactive Notebooks. You can see those spiral notebooks in the blue bin on the top picture. These Writing Interactive Notebooks were always in the Work on Writing Station.
In a nutshell, that is how we would celebrate the incredible man that we know as Martin Luther King, Jr.! And, just as an aside, I would keep these books out YEAR ROUND in my classroom library. The only ones that I didn’t keep “out” were the read-alouds. I didn’t want to share these books with them so that they were “new” books that they hadn’t read before. But, all of my other MLK, Jr. books were always in my classroom library year round.
I truly hope that this post gives you some fun ideas on how to commemorate MLK, Jr. using some of my resources. If you are interested in purchasing any of these resources, please click the links below to check them out.
Please note this blog post may contain affiliate links on Amazon.com. If you purchase a book on Amazon.com using one of my links, I will receive a tiny commission from Amazon.