Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the classroom

January is a fantastic time to incorporate those social studies SOL standards and teaching opportunities about Martin Luther King Jr. into your lessons. I complied some various lessons and activities that are easy to incorporate into your day. Many of them are easily integrated into other subjects for some cross-curricular fun :-)

    • This is a great month to incorporate diversity into your health lessons. There is a great egg cracking activity all over Pinterest where you take two different colored eggs (a white egg and a brown egg), crack them, and show how we are all the same on the inside. Although a simple lesson, it is a strong message. 
    • During this time, I like having a literacy station in my classroom with a pile of tradebooks and picture books about MLK. In the literacy station, I leave a pile of sentence strips, MLK books, and index cards. Kids write important facts on the sentence strips, and later we created a mural outside the classroom. The kids also colored the influential American. You can see the mural that my kids and I made for biographies below! 
    • I love using interactive notebooks in my classroom, so I created a Martin Luther King Jr. interactive notebook to incorporate MLK easily into my language arts block. For example, there is a flipbook on the right where kids look up vocabulary in the dictionary that correlates with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, writing down the page numbers and guide words on the page. Guide words are always the hardest language arts skills for my students each year, so I try to have them look words up in the dictionary every chance that I get! There are also activities on using a thesaurus, character traits, and the Civil Rights Movement.
    • I use literacy stations in my classroom, and I always have a reading passage station. Have you used ReadWorks before? If not, REGISTER NOW! It is free and an amazing resource for reading passages. You can find reading passages based on grade, reading level, topic, or reading strategy (look for passages specifically about inferences, predictions, compare/contrast, etc). They have a boatload of reading passages specifically about Martin Luther King Jr.
    • Incorporate those essential mapping SOL standards into your day by having kids read tradebooks or Internet research, then creating a map of all the places that Martin Luther King Jr. lived and/or was significant in his life. They could find cities like Montgomery, Atlanta, Washington D.C., then create their own map key!

      •  For a basic introduction to MLK, this video is engaging but fabulous for explaining more about him! Here's the link: 

    What activities do you enjoy for Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Share them in the comment section and I'll add them to the list :-)

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