Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities and Resources

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  I thought I would use today to write about some of my favorite resources/activities that I use in my classroom.


Our Friend Martin - I had this video on a VHS tape.  Needless to say, I can't use that anymore.  I was super excited when I saw this short video on YouTube.  This video is an hour long.  A group of students go back in time and visit Dr. King at various points throughout his life.  My students love this!  Those that have seen it before are excited to see it again.


I Have a Dream Speech - Another YouTube video I like to show is Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  I then have students brainstorm their dreams.  I think seeing actual footage is really powerful.  While many students have heard the speech (or at least parts), they probably have never seen the actual speech.  Depending on my students, I show a portion or the whole speech.


Books - My two favorite books to read at this time of the year are Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King and Martin's Big Words.  Both of these books are incredibly well written, engaging, and lead to incredible discussions and activities with students.



Websites - I like when my students can do their own research on a person or topic.  Below are a few websites appropriate for students to visit and discover their own facts about Dr. King.
      Kids National Georgraphic
      Social Studies for Kids
      Kids Play and Create  - This site includes a lot of Dr. King's famous quotes.
      Primary Games - This site also has some great printables for teachers as well as links to games.


Day of Service - Dr. King's birthday has turned into a Day of Service - giving back to others.  I love teaching my students that they can help others.  Some easy ways to have students serving others are using a website like FreeRice (students are able to donate grains of rice with each question they get right) or making cards for nursing home patients, veterans, etc.

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