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Lesson: Mapping Martin Luther King, Jr.




Subjects: Educational Technology, Geography, Holidays, Social Studies, U.S. History
Grades: 3-5, 6-8

Brief Description

Students explore places that were important in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



  • use a variety of print and online resources to learn about Martin Luther King Jr.
  • search for information about places that were important in King's life.
  • create a U.S. map that shows where those places are.


geography, Martin Luther King, U.S. map

Materials Needed


  • Books, Internet sources, and other resources about Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A blank U.S. map (try this map or this map)

Lesson Plan

Note: Students can complete this activity independently, in pairs, or in small groups.

Point out to students that cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C. figured prominently in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Ask: What other places can you think of that are closely associated with Martin Luther King? Write the name of each important location on the chalkboard. Challenge students to research a variety of print and online resources to find information about each of those places.

Tell students that as they locate each place of importance, they should

  • affix a star to a blank U.S. map to indicate that place's location.
  • write the name of the location next to the star on the map.
  • record on a separate Map Key a sentence or two of explanation about the importance of that place in Dr. King's life.

When students complete their maps, provide a time for them to display their maps and share what they learned with their classmates.


Students complete a simple teacher-created quiz in which they match a place name with the reason that place was important in King's life.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards




NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

See more lessons at Happy Birthday, MLK at

Click here to return to the Martin Luther King Jr. lesson plan page.


Last updated 12/30/2014