MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. ACTIVITIES, BOOK IDEAS, and PRINTABLES for KIDS

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

I feel like the winter holidays always sneak up on me. It is as if 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 Martin Luther King Day

...and then the groundhog is popping out or his hole
...and then Cupid starts shooting his arrow

As teachers it is important to include diversity into your classroom all the time and we should not be waiting until Black History month to be showcasing such leaders. However, if this is not something you feel you have done regularly then now is a perfect time to start.

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

In my classroom, we work through a unit on biographies as part of our yearlong goal of reading and writing from a large variety of different genres. 

I always found students would stick to either a specific series or one certain type of story so I created genre resources, games, and activities to encourage them to explore other great books. It has worked so well. You can read about that by clicking the image below:



Before diving into the books listed below, my students and I work through some close reading activities focused on Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many teachers have told me they use this close reading packet as a stand alone lesson to teach their students about Martin Luther King. You can see all the activities I do in the images below.

I have loved using it for several reasons:
  • It requires no prep - just print and teach!
  • There are differentiated versions of the passage so all of my students are included in the same activity, but able to access the material at their level.
  • It sparks such wonderful and meaningful conversations.


A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

In addition to the close reading activities, the students read many books written about Martin Luther King, watch a video, and create a piece of artwork to display on the bulletin board.


A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.




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.



By the way, if you are not already subscribed to The Clutter-Free Classroom newsletter I encourage you sign up. Subscribers receive weekly tips for organizing and managing a classroom as well as exclusive free printables. You can sign up here.