4 Reasons You Can Make MLK Day Meaningful with Your Students

Martin Luther King Jr.: civil rights activist, nonviolence champion, Nobel Peace Prize awardee, assassinated martyr.  Help students understand why the that holiday honors his life goes beyond having a day off school!

#1 Day of Service opportunities abound thanks to online resources

First and foremost, teach students about the Day of Service, and why Martin Luther King Jr. Day is dedicated as such.  Then, brainstorm ways your class can serve as a whole, and/or as individuals. Tips:

  • Take a pledge of service
  • Tweet your class’ plans with hashtag #MLKDay2015
  • Pick a toolkit based on students’ service interest, ranging from food banks, veteran assistance, community gardens, and more

recite-dkrmxa#2 Dr. King’s oratory legacy includes hundreds of inspiring quotes

As we all know, part of Dr. King’s legacy was his inspiring way with words.  Share some of his most famous quotes, have students illustrate their favorites through art, and display the collage of quotes and visuals outside your classroom.

#3 Brainpop summarizes Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in their free video

Brainpop’s 4-minute video on Martin Luther King Jr. is a great way to introduce what he stood for, especially for younger students.  And did we mention that it’s free? Speaking of free, Laura Candler has also developed a 14-page packet of printables on TeachersPayTeachers.

#4 Scholastic has teachers covered

Seriously, where would any of us be without Scholastic’s fantastic array of resources for every holiday? Lesson plans, printable plays, multimedia links, and more–all organized into grade-appropriate groups for MLK Day!

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

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Mary Wade

I taught 5th grade at a PYP International Baccalaureate school in Utah for 4 years, and am currently on extended parental leave until my kids start school. In between the roller-coaster adventures of motherhood, I enjoy educational blogging so I can stay in the loop and keep learning! Snapshot favorites: Student voice & choice. Twix bars. Global classrooms. Calvin & Hobbes. Outlandish sewing projects. Teachers learning from teachers. Modeling daring to students.

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