Will you be working a normal school day tomorrow? Will you be teaching about MLK day?
Here are some MLK activities.
- Ask the students to define prejudice and explain what it means to
them. Talk about some reasons people might be prejudiced (fear,
ignorance, echoing parents' sentiments, etc.). Discuss ways that people
can overcome their prejudices - learn about others, discuss fears,
cooperate with others, etc.
- Read books about prejudice. Appropriate titles include But Names Will Never Hurt Me by Bernard Waber (Houghton Mifflin, 1976), Crow Boy by Taro Yashima (Viking Press, 1955), Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni (Pantheon Books, 1974), Like Me by Alan Brightman (Greenwillow Books, 1982).
- Define boycott. Read aloud to the students a short story about Rosa Parks and the ensuing bus boycott. One appropriate title to read is Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Teresa Ceisi (Millbrook Press, 1991). Ask students if they think they could be as brave as Ms. Parks.
- Discuss the meaning of peaceful behavior. Then assign the
activity titled "Peacefully" in this booklet. Upon completion, have
students (in pairs) take turns role-playing the characters in their
- Learn about the peaceful protest of 1963 in which a quarter
of a million people marched on Washington, D.C. to demand equal rights
for blacks. "A Peaceful Protest" in this booklet will give students an
opportunity to use their skip-counting skills to help figure out the
name of this historic event.
- Divide the class into small groups and ask students to look
at the page in this booklet titled "History Surrounding Martin Luther
King, Jr." Have each child read at least one paragraph of the page
aloud. Then have them discuss their interpretations of Martin Luther
King. Jr.'s quoted words among themselves.
- Martin Luther King Day is celebrated in January. Many
cities have named streets or buildings after him. Find out what your
community has done or is planning to do to honor him.
- Read books about Dr. King. Some titles include A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Adier (Holiday, 1989), Martin Luther King Day by Linda Lowery (Lemer, 1987), and What Is Martin Luther King Jr., Day? by Margot Parker (Childrens Press, 1990).
- Ask students to locate Georgia (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
birthplace) on a map of the United States. Then have them name the
states that border Georgia.
- Georgia is known for its peaches. Try to purchase and eat
some fresh Georgia peaches. Prepare peach pie or peach cobbler as a
class project or serve sliced peaches with vanilla yogurt.
- Have the class do some library research to learn about Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s widow.
- Discuss Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. If age
appropriate, read the speech to your class or listen to a recording of
it. Brainstorm a list of ways to keep Dr. King's dreams alive.
- Talk about the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize. This
is awarded each year to the person who has done the most effective work
in the interest of world peace. Dr. King received this medal and cash
award in 1964 for leading the African American struggle for equality in
the United States through nonviolent methods. Dr. King did not keep the
money but gave it away to other people who had worked with him for
peace. Award each of your students a peace prize for their work toward
getting along well with others or finding peaceful solutions to
- Martin Luther King liked to eat soul food such as pork,
black-eyed peas, and turnip greens. Sample some soul foods. If possible,
ask adult volunteers to help prepare a dish in class. Carefully explain
the food preparation to the students.
- Create a wall of dreams. Trace around each student's body
onto butcher paper. Direct the children to cut out the forms and draw
their own portraits, clothes, and other features. Tell them to write
their dreams for peace on the body sections. Join all the paper bodies
by the hands and line the classroom walls with them.
- Use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to begin a study of African Americans. The minibook activity in this booklet may be a good place to start. Continue the unit throughout February, African American history month.
MLK Teachers resource - There is a lot of things offered here so check it out!