Helping my students understand the impact Dr. King had on our nation and the way we live our lives today is one of my absolute favorite parts of beginning a new year each January. We began the new year reading books about this amazing man, discussing, writing, and working all while having fun learning about a man neither they nor myself were alive while he was but still feel his impact and can connect with his dream and message.
This is my favorite book to use to help my students better understand why MLKJr is such an amazing man! It is perfect for my 2nd graders and offers many opportunities to stop and discuss how he felt, why things that happened to him as a child (like they are) were so unfair, and how he made a choice to make a change WITHOUT using his fists. By the time we finish reading this book my students know his message: fight with words not with fists. This resonates with them as they can connect to this with issues that happen at recess, with siblings, and with friends.
We wrote about our own dreams:
We read and colored the pictures in this great book:
We did word searches because we realized how powerful words can be--both negative and positive words:
We ended the week before we went on a 3-day vacation to celebrate this man by creating a class banner with our dreams. I got this idea from Scholastic.com
My students were SOOOOOOO PROUD of the work they did creating this banner that they wanted to ask our principal, Mrs. Black, if she would hang it up in our school some where. Three students took the banner to her office. They explained what the poster was, all of the learning and hard work that went into creating the poster, and she was more than willing to hang it up in our school's commons area :) As we walked to Library later that day my students couldn't help but giggle with pride as they walked by their creation hanging for all students, staff and family to see!
I hope that as my students enjoy their day off from school today they think about Dr. King, his dream, and that they continue to dream themselves!