Martin Luther King Day Lesson Ideas ~ Sunday Teacher Feature (21)

Can you believe that at the end of this week we will be halfway through the month of January? WOW! Now is a great time to start preparing not only for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, but also Black History Month in February. Today, we are going to focus on activities to celebrate MLK Day while next week we will focus on ideas of how to incorporate the many men and women that impacted black history. Please know that if this topic makes you uncomfortable that simply means you need to listen and learn more so you can help your students understand. Dismissing their questions or simply coloring a paper won't help us to move forward.

Our first Sunday Teacher Feature comes from Mrs. Patton. She has created an incredible literacy unit covering Dr. King. There are different articles about Dr. King, a Venn Diagram, text-to-self feature, timeline descriptions, and soooooo much more! This bundle will do a thorough job of explaining not only Dr. King's message, but also what the world was like during this time period. We think this is a great resource for a first, second, or third grade teacher that you can use for years to come. Here is the link to Mrs. Patton's TPT Store


Another great idea to consider is writing a digital story with your students (especially since many students are virtual). You could easily use Mrs. Patton's bundle above or find a grade level appropriate book and discuss Dr. King's dream. Why did he want a better world? What can we do now to create a better world? What is your dream? Once students think out loud about these questions, have them complete this prompt: "I have a dream that ..." Next, direct students to illustrate their sentences giving plenty of detail to their illustrations because this is going to be apart of our digital story. Finally, use the website Little Bird Tales to create a digital story. Students will need to take and send you a picture of what they drew. Once you combine everything into the story, be sure to share it with your class. They will LOVE it!

Finally, in order to use Dr. King's message to help continue to develop your classroom community, this idea from Eileen at may be just what you are looking for. Use the poem The Crayon Box That Talked which is about different colors getting along with each other. Discuss the poem and its meaning with your students. Next, give each student the crayon outline so he/she can design a self-portrait and explain how your class is similar to the box of crayons. Draw a crayon box and put all of your "crayons" in the box. I always love hearing students compliment each other on their portraits which really helps with building a community. Here is the link for all the resources you will need: Box of Crayons Lesson

We hope these ideas will prove useful as you begin to prepare for Martin Luther King Day. Focus on using this time to build your community and have the conversations that may feel a little uncomfortable. This is a great opportunity to use this time to discuss that the classroom is a safe environment and we will respect one another. Hopefully, you develop a closeness among your students which will carry over into love for one another. Please feel free to contact us on Instagram (@lessonplantoolbox) or email ([email protected]) if you need any help tracking down more ideas.

Click this link for your FREE Strategies to Student Engagement Guide: Student Engagement Strategies


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