The life of American hero Martin Luther King Jr. offers many teaching opportunities. In this week's Lesson Planning article, Education World presents cross-curricular and cross-grade lessons teachers can use to share King's life and legacy with students. Included: More than 20 lessons!
Each year, on the third Monday in January, people in the United States pause to honor the life and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. Many classroom teachers also pause in the weeks leading up to Martin Luther King Day to take advantage of an opportunity to teach about the King legacy of tolerance, equality, and respect.
Education World editors searched the Web for the best King lessons and activities for classroom use. No matter what grade you teach, you'll find valuable resources related to Martin Luther King Jr. Among our favorite resources are two picture books about King's life. A Teeny Tiny Book About Martin Luther King Jr. is an appropriate resource for primary grade teachers, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., written in comic book form, is sure to appeal to kids in elementary grades and up.
Look for another good resource in school or public libraries. Dear Dr. King: Letters from Today's Children to Dr. Martin Luther King provides a great introduction to a lesson in which children write their own letters to Dr. King.
Finally, if you've been searching for an authoritative collection of links to online classroom resources about Dr. King, we recommend Martin Luther King Jr., from 42Explore.
Education World has created or gathered more than 20 classroom lessons about Martin Luther King Jr. Click on one of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. After you've taken a look at those five lessons, be sure to check out the list of additional lesson resources at the bottom of this article.
Martin Luther King Jr.: A Fact or Opinion Activity (Grades 3-8)
A brief biography of Martin Luther King Jr. reinforces students' understanding of the difference between fact and opinion. Work sheet included.
Mapping Martin Luther King Jr. (Grades 3-8)
Students create a map showing the important places in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.: A Clothesline Timeline (Grades K-12)
A clothesline timeline of student-created art and Internet photographs depicts events in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Write Your Own "I Have a Dream" Speech (Grades 2-12)
Students imitate the form and eloquence of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech in this work sheet-based activity.
Evaluating Web Sites for Bias (Grades 6-12, Advanced)
Students use a checklist work sheet to evaluate Web content about Martin Luther King Jr. for bias.
Following is a list of additional lesson plans that we have gathered for you. Approximate grade levels for each activity appear in parentheses.
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Last updated 1/01/2012