Martin Luther King {resources and ideas}

I feel like the winter holidays always sneak up on me. It's like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are on our radar starting at the end of summer. 

And then all of a sudden you wake up and it's MLK weekend...and then the groundhog is popping out or his hole...and then Cupid starts shooting his arrow.

In an attempt to thwart the "holiday sneak up" I am reposting my resources and ideas for Martin Luther Kind Day.

The thing I love about having a Monday off in mid-January is that it is like an encore to the winter break. I get really used to hunkering down in my house for extended pajama time so I very much appreciate a bonus day of lounging around in the flannels. It's like a snowday...without having to shovel.

I do try to get in all my MLK activities prior to the holiday so the kiddos know and appreciate why we aren't in school. Below are some of the books I use in my classroom each year along with some teaching ideas.

{How cute are these paper pieced portraits that my class made last year?}

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? is part of a collection of books titled, "Who Was..." (insert George Washington, Rosa Parks, JFK, etc) that I use with my biography unit. The reading level and content is great for my third graders (and would be perfect for 2nd-4th as well). They are also nice to use as read alouds. My kids always enjoy them

National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the many outstanding informational texts for young readers by National Geographic (I have a set of their Penguins book that my students always love when we do our penguin research projects).

Martin Luther King Jr. (Rookie Biographies) is a lower level reader than the ones listed above so it's nice to include it as a differentiated option that all my students can access.

 A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Picture Book Biography) is also part of a collection of books I use with my biography unit. I like the style that David Adler wrote these books in and find that the familiarity of the format is very helpful to my young researchers as they read through the different titles when studying various historical individuals.

Biography Activities to Use When Studying ANYONE

I designed this unit to enhance the study of idividuals. It is extremely versatile...The activities can be used as part of a genre study or within the content areas. I have also used them with author studies and have had the children complete them as autobiographies about themselves. Each page was designed to be printed and copied in ink-saving black and white.

Living Bio Museum (Wax Museum): An Interactive Biography Project

Are you looking for a fun way to culminate a biography or social studies unit? Your students and their parents will really enjoy the Living Bio Museum. This packet contains everything you need to have your students complete a project of their very own to present in class or at a Living Biography Museum. It includes: a grading rubric, directions, student writing pages, poster board visual directions. This would work well with a "living wax museum" as well. I opted to do poster boards to make life easier for the parents. So much fun!

   It's OK to Be Different: A Writing Project & Bulletin Board Packet 

This is one of my favorite projects because it really allows me to get to know my students even better. Because I do it in January (to tie in with MLK Day and a celebration of how we are alike and different), my class has already established a sense of trust and community and they are comfortable being honest and taking risks in their writing which is so great to see. I love Todd Parr books and my class has a great time visiting his website and seeing where he creates his work. This project is great for class meetings and anti-bullying programs as well.

Do you go to school on MLK Day?

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