Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an important national holiday for people all over the United States. Several governmental, non-profit organizations, and schools are closed and even offered the day off as a paid holiday. It is a day of remembrance and it is observed on the third Monday of January each year.
Teachers all around the world use this time of the year to teach their students about the monumental changes one man set in motion. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equal rights amongst black and white citizens in the 1950s and 1960s. The rights he fought for included the right to work and make an honest living, the right to vote, the right to use public places and the right to receive a good education. Here are some fun educational ways to honor the man that changed equality forever:
One of Dr. King’s life lessons was to always help others. Teachers can create a fun homework assignment based on that lesson. For example, consider assigning your students a project based on helping others and then follow that by having them do a small in-class presentation.
Share stories of what he did for people. Read your students stories, show them movies and play them clips of an MLK Day parade. Then discuss the lessons he taught about freedom and racial acceptance.
Help the environment
Dr. King enlightened us about social and economic justice for all, but he also advocated for environmental justice. He worked very hard on urban environmental and public health issues in urban areas. Have your students participate in an organized planting or cleanup project. The project can entail planting flowers, healthy food plants, or even nurturing a neglected garden.
Dreams and Balloons
Dr. King was famous for his “I have a dream” speech. Have your students reflect on what they want to accomplish in the future. Have them write out their dreams on small pieces of paper, attach them to helium balloons and let the balloons go outside.
Celebrate Cultural Diversity
Have your students participate in a multicultural lunch party. Ask each student to bring a unique dish from home. This is a cool way of celebrating all of the different cultures within the classroom. Children love learning about the different cultures and food from around the globe. Plan this lunch party in advance, ask for help from the parents and it can turn out to be a huge success.
There’s so much to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and even young children can benefit from learning about the life and teachings of Dr. King. From books to videos online and celebrations to special community events, there are many resources available to teach your students about Martin Luther King Jr.