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EducationDive: Seven Resources for MLK and Civil Rights Instruction

EducationDive: Seven Resources for MLK and Civil Rights Instruction

It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While most schools are out of session, teachers will still find time this week to discuss civil rights and its leaders in the classroom.

"The day is a great jumping-off point for lessons touch on broad topics such as slavery, the civil rights movement, current issues involving police, and the school-to-prison pipeline," said an article on The article offers seven resources teachers can use in the classroom to teach around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The first resource is the National Education Association.

"The National Education Association has a whole toolbox dedicated to MLK day, pooling resources from across the web and arranging them by grade level," the article said. "For example, teachers in grades K-2 might use the "Dr. King's Dream Speech" lesson, which has students listen to King's most famous speech and then write down their own dreams for America. Guiding questions for this lesson range from defining the term 'civil rights' to identifying what parts of King's dream have or have not been realized."

Students in 9-12, the article said, "have lessons that ask them to pull from prior knowledge to connect to other texts and people."

"For example, the lesson from read, write, think entitled 'I Have a Dream: Exploring Nonviolence in Young Adult Texts' asks students to 'identify how the rapper, Common and writer, Walter Dean Myers, reinterprets Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of nonviolence in their own works," the article said. "The NEA resources also come with rubrics to help grade answers, if you choose to do so."

Another resource EducationDive provides Teaching Tolerance.

"Before you do anything in your classroom for MLK Day, read this list of 'dos' and 'don'ts' from the Southern Poverty Law Center's 'Teaching Tolerance,'" the article said. "The list explains that the history of the civil rights movement should not be limited to one day or month, additionally reminding teachers that King's message was not just about "blacks and whites" but rather he spoke about gendered stereotypes, poverty, and privilege, making the holiday a good time to also dive into these topics."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

Still need more resources? Visit for a list of lesson plans and writing prompts to teach students about Martin Luther King, Jr.

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