Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities

Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities title image

Pause for a moment and consider how our country might have been different had we not lost Martin Luther King Jr. so early in his life. His life’s mission was for people to love and respect each other, and certainly, we need that today. 

In this post, I will share resources and ideas to help you and your students with researching Martin’s life. To help you out, you can click this image and download it so you have the links.

Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities printable activities

Books that feature martin luther king jr.:

I was amazed at the number of book options available for MLK Day, but certainly I have a few favorites. I’m going to start with Martin’s Big Words.  What a marvelously written gem!  If you do not have a copy of the book, there is a wonderfully done student read of the book on youtube, and you can access it [here].  I do not have a unit for this book, but this freebie from Amber Kotzin is nicely done.

Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities
Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities
Celebrate the Contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. with these 10+ activities

Another great option is A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David Adler. Adler is well-known in the nonfiction arena for kids with his picture books of famous Americans, and this title is a great choice for the middle grades.  If you do not have a copy of the book, you can also use [this reading] of it from youtube. This freebie from 24/7 Teacher would work well to use in conjunction with Adler’s book.

teaching resources about martin luther king jr.

Besides books, we now have the option of Close Reading materials, and Lauren from The Sweetest Thing just added a Martin Luther King Jr. Close Reading Freebie to her store.  Her Close Reads come in a below, on, and above level form, so teachers can differentiate the reading for their groups.

Another Close Read I came across was this one from Fifth in the Middle.  It is also differentiated to match levels 4-6. Both Close Reads included have activities to accompany them for the second and third reading sessions.

Interested in branching off to discuss Civil Rights and fair treatment of others?  There are several books I love that work well with these themes. The first is Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman.  Grace wants to be Peter Pan in the school play, but several peers say that she can’t because she’s black and a girl. We never know who will be our president, and who is to say that that person won’t be a child from my classroom or yours.  My unit for Amazing Grace was redone recently, and you can see it below.  

Other books that work well for brotherhood/sisterhood include Each Kindness and The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles.

arts and crafts featuring martin luther king jr.

I have pinned many of these ideas to my Martin Luther King Jr. board, but thought I’d feature them here too. I think many can be used during the month of February for Brotherhood/Sisterhood Month or any time of year honestly.  After all, one of the most important things we can do for children is help them learn to bond with and appreciate others.

Final thoughts…

If you have resources readers need to know about, you can link them up directly (free only) or write up a blog post telling about them and your MLK Day ideas. Hopefully, all of the ideas shared will help you celebrate MLK Day properly and broach the topic of equality and respect for others as well as help our children learn to appreciate the contributions of all.

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Carla

Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.