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Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Grades K-5

Lesson Plans, Activity Ideas & Other Resources for Teaching MLK Day

Found In: Arts, Language Arts, Social Studies, PreK-2, 3-5

Help students in grades K-5 put in perspective the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, and his significance to American culture and history.

Lesson Plans

Dr. King's Dream
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., listen to an excerpt from his “I Have a Dream” speech, and create picture books about freedom for Americans today.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Me: Identifying with a Hero
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life of Dr. King, record information on a KWL chart, and keep a journal of thoughts and ideas.

How Big Are Martin’s Big Words? Thinking Big about the Future
Students in grades 3-5 listen to a reading of Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and then analyze excerpts from King’s speeches for "big" words, words not necessarily as large in length as they are in importance: Freedom, Peace, Love.

Let Freedom Ring: The Life & Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students in grades 3-5 view photographs of the March on Washington, read Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and investigate how Dr. King used  language from "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in his own speech.


Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive Timeline
After listening to a reading of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler, students in grades 3-6 use sequencing skills to create a timeline of MLK’s life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quiz
A printable ten question quiz.

King Crossword
This printable crossword for elementary students includes an interactive version and an answer key.

Observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
PBS LearningMedia provides 13 activities for K-12.

Background Resources

I Have a Dream: Celebrating the Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
A source of activities, lessons, and websites.

Martin Luther King Jr.
NY Times archive of articles on MLK.

Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This K-8 teacher source provides whiteboard resources, book lists, and activities.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: Lesson Plans and Teacher Guides
This curriculum package for K-8 teachers includes a teacher guide, lesson plans and units, exhibits, a problem-solution project, and references. The package is available in 5 PDF sections totaling 303 pages.

MLK Websites




last updated: November 6, 2019


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