CELEBRATE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY LESSON PLAN FOR GRADES K 2

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1 CELEBRATE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY LESSON PLAN FOR GRADES K 2 Book/Text Set: Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Mrs. Park s Class / Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy Content Overview: In the fiction read-aloud, students in Mrs. Park s class are making a mural about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As they discuss Dr. King s goals and ideals, they begin to notice the diversity in nature and relate it to Dr. King s dream. The non-fiction section of the book gives a general overview of Martin Luther King, Jr. s life in child-friendly language. Materials and Preparation chart paper and colored markers prepared Venn Diagram on chart paper white paper for drawing writing paper assorted picture books about Martin Luther King, Jr. at a variety of levels Standards Covered NCSS Social Studies Standards I. Culture: b, d, e II. Time, Continuity and Change: a, e V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions: b, d, e, g VI. Power, Authority, and Governance: a, c, f, h IX. Global Connections: b, f X. Civic Ideals and Practices: b, e, f, g, h, j National TESOL Standards Goal 1: To use English to communicate in social settings. Standards 1, 2, 3 Goal 2: To use English to achieve academically in all content areas. Standards 1, 2, 3 Goal 3: To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways. Standards 1, 2, 3 NCTE/IRA English Language Arts Standards : 1, 2, 5, 10, 12 Vocabulary F: mural / celebrate / fertilize / appreciate NF: separate / racial segregation / Constitution / rights Pacing Guide 3 days; minute sessions, plus optional extensions

2 Reading and Activities DAY 1 Explore the Topic: Noticing Difference/Diversity Lead students in a discussion in which they look for and notice differences from each other, i.e., different hair or eye colors, different lengths of hair, different heights, etc. When several differences have been identified, ask students to tell how everyone is alike. Record students responses on a Venn Diagram hand-drawn on chart paper. Vocabulary Introduction On chart paper, start a thematic vocabulary word list for the Martin Luther King, Jr. lessons. Write Martin Luther King, Jr. at the top of the chart paper, and then write the vocabulary words for the fiction section (plus any additional related words desired) under it in a column format. Read the words aloud to students, and have them repeat each word. Then ask if anyone knows what any of the words mean. As students respond, add to their responses as appropriate to give a quick, accurate definition for each word. Tell students they will learn more about these words during the reading. Leave the list posted where students can see it. Fiction Read-Aloud & Discussion Start a KWL chart: Write on chart paper What we know about Martin Luther King, Jr. Have students tell what they already know and write their responses. On a second chart paper, write What we want to know about Martin Luther King, Jr. Ask students what questions they have and write their questions. In this session you will read aloud only the fiction story, Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Mrs. Park s Class. Before reading the story, read the title to students and show them the cover. Ask them to tell what they see on the cover, especially in regard to the differences in the children pictured. While you read the story, use the context to help children define any words that they may not know When the story is finished, ask students to tell you about the story. Ask the following questions, using the illustrations in the book whenever appropriate to help students with their responses: p.2/6

3 Beginning Intermediate Advanced 1. Point to Martin Luther King, Jr. 2. Where are the children? 3. What are the children doing? 1. What are the students doing in the classroom? 2. What are the students doing in the garden? 3. What did the students do at the end of the story? 1. Name and explain one thing that students are showing on the mural. 2. What do the children notice when they go out to the garden? 3. How does the garden relate to MLK s ideas? KWL chart: After student discussion and responses to questions, add a third column to the KWL chart. Write What we have learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. at the top of the third chart paper. Have students tell things they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. from the story, and write their responses. Review and reread all responses. Keep the charts posted on the wall. DAY 2 Vocabulary Activity Review the words on the vocabulary list by having students reread and define them, and by using them in sentences. Add the vocabulary words for the non-fiction section to the list. Read the words aloud, and have students repeat them. Then ask students to tell what they know about the meanings of the words. Add to student responses as appropriate to define each word. Tell students they will hear these words in the next story. Ask volunteers to retell the story Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Mrs. Park s Class and then explain that now you are going to read a story that tells about Martin Luther King, Jr., what he did, and why he is so important. Non-Fiction Read-Aloud & Discussion Before reading, revisit the KWL chart. Ask volunteers to read the questions on the What we want to know about Martin Luther King, Jr. chart. Tell them that they will have an opportunity to find answers to those questions and learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. during the reading of the second part of the book. Open the book on pages and invite students to read the section title with you. Read aloud the non-fiction story, Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? While you read, stop as p.3/6

4 appropriate to define and discuss any words the children may not know and add them to the vocabulary list. When the read-aloud is finished, have students discuss the information by answering the following questions: Beginning Intermediate Advanced 1. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. look like? 2. What is something Martin Luther King, Jr. did? 3. What else do you know about Martin Luther King, Jr.? 1. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. want to do? 2. Did everyone like Martin Luther King, Jr.? 3. What is a good thing that Martin Luther King, Jr. did? 1. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. say to other people? 2. What is racial segregation? 3. Why did African-American people stop riding buses? KWL chart: After student discussion and responses to questions, review the What we have learned. section of the KWL chart with students by reading the previous responses and having students read them with you. Ask students what new things they ve learned and add more student responses to the chart. Review and reread all responses. Keep the chart posted where students can see it. DAY 3 Vocabulary Review Have students use the Words About Martin Luther King, Jr. worksheet. Students choosing more than two words can use more than one copy of the worksheet. When students finish their vocabulary worksheet, they should be given time to browse or actually read other books about Martin Luther King, Jr. or related books. After this independent reading session, you may want to revisit and update the What we have learned section of the KWL chart. Writing Activity Explain to students that they will draw a picture showing something they have learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and then write a sentence or two to tell about their picture. Make sure they understand that the picture needs to show something they learned about Dr. King. Review the What we ve learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. section of the KWL chart and assure students that they can use the chart to help them decide what to draw. Also, p.4/6

5 revisit the book Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Mrs. Park s Class and check other picture books about Martin Luther King, Jr. to help students get ideas for their drawings and to help them review what they ve learned about Dr. King. Ask students to give examples of what they might draw. Call on several students to give ideas for the drawings. Review the vocabulary list again. Ask students to tell you what words they might need for their writing and, as they suggest words, write thematic words on the vocabulary list and any suggested generic words on the board (words that are not related to the Martin Luther King, Jr. theme). Review the list of words with students and tell them that while they are writing, if they need more words, they can be added to the list. Write some prompts on the board to help students with their writing, such as the following: Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted. Martin Luther King, Jr. liked to. Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about. I learned that Martin Luther King, Jr.. Hand out white drawing paper and have students get started on their drawings. As students finish their drawings, give them writing paper and make sure they know that their writing should match the drawings. Invite them to use the prompts on the board if they would like to do so. Extensions Writing Art Music Write a short, free-verse, acrostic poem about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., using the word Martin for the first letters of each line. Make a friendly hands poster by tracing hands onto different shades of brown construction paper. Mount the hands on a large sheet of construction paper or make a chain of hands to hang in the classroom. Learn the words to and sing We Shall Overcome. Lyrics are available online at and other sites that can be found with an Internet search. Social Studies Do one hundred acts of kindness in the classroom. Details for the lesson, Living the Dream: One Hundred Acts of Kindness can be found at Science In warmer climates where the school location is such that there are trees or a garden outside, replicate the action in the story by taking students for a walk and helping them notice the diversity of leaves on a tree, trees in a grove, flowers in a garden or planting area, etc. p.5/6

6 Technology Review Martin Luther King, Jr. s life by reading a timeline written by kids: Do an online Martin Luther King, Jr. word search: Visit the Civil Rights Photo Gallery from the Seattle Times: View pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr. from Life Magazine: Creative Reading Share this book with your students using Alma Flor Ada s Creative Reading methodology based on the principles of Transformative Education. Suggested questions to initiate the dialogue are provided for Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels as well as selfassessment tools for teachers and students in English and Spanish. Santillana USA Publishing Company, Inc. Developed by Renee Goularte Renee Goularte started teaching in the late 1980s. She has taught students in all elementary grades, and has worked specifically with English language learners, at-risk students, and GATE students. Renee holds a Master s Degree in Elementary Education from San José State University. In addition to teaching, she also writes and presents workshops for teachers. Renee lives in Northern California. p.6/6

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