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Martin Luther King, Jr. Teaching Tips

By Freda J. Glatt, MS

Who was born on January 15, 1929? A man who believed in equality and peace...Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some ways to honor this man. NOTE: If you live in a country other than America, adapt these activities for a significant person in your country's history.

1. Draw a silhouette of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s face against a plain background; then add lines to create a puzzle. Add words that rhyme with 'king' in the spaces of the face and words that rhyme with 'men' in the background. Color the first set of words brown and the second set of words red. NOTE: Vary the activity by adding equal math problems in the face and unequal math problems in the background (ie: 4+6=2+7+1 versus 5+3=2+3+4).

2. Make a Criss-Cross puzzle with these words: Atlanta, dream, equal, laws, leader, minister, peaceful, and prize.

3. Use the same words in Tip 2 to fill in these blanks:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in _____, Georgia. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace _____. MLK worked to change unfair _____. Dr. King gave a famous speech called "I Have a _____." MLK was a great _____. When he grew up, Martin Luther King, Jr. became a _____. Dr. King believed that all people should be _____. Dr. King believed in _____ protests.

4. Have older children look up the following words in a dictionary, encyclopedia, or the internet: segregation, prejudice, equality, civil rights, nonviolent resistance, protest, demonstrations, equal opportunity, Nobel Peace Prize, assassinated, tribute. What does each word or phrase mean? How can you apply it to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life?

5. As a culminating activity to your unit, have a panel of 'interviewers' ask 'Dr. King' questions.

6. As an alternate activity, have children write a play. Different groups of students can focus on various aspects of Dr. King's life.

I hope these ideas are useful and have inspired your own creative thinking.

And remember...Reading is FUNdamental!

(Answers to Tip 3: Atlanta, prize, laws, dream, leader, minister, equal, peaceful)

About The Author
Freda J. Glatt, MS, retired from teaching after a 34-year career in Early-Childhood and Elementary Education. Her focus, now, is to reach out and help others reinforce reading comprehension and develop a love for reading. Reading is FUNdamental!



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