I love teaching young students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream of peace and equality.
We start by reading a simple book that explains Dr. King and his dreams in a way that my young students can understand. It is entitled, My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Egg Activity
I found this activity on Pinterest and it has become a favorite of myself and students. It fits well with the book mentioned above and it is a wonderful visual for young children that shows we all look different on the outside, but are the same on the inside. It helps convey that everyone should be treated equally.
It is very simple to set up. All you need are brown and white eggs and plates or bowls in which to crack open the eggs. I also use a printable page, that you can receive for free if you sign up for my newsletter here.
Show students the white egg and the brown egg.
Discuss what they look like on the outside. I have students color the eggs on their pages and then write that on the outside the eggs look different (they are different colors). Writing and drawing their observations helps them to learn, remember, and recall the information.
Ask students what they think each egg looks like on the inside. A large number of my students usually think the inside of the brown egg will be brown. Some say they will be the same, and a couple have said they think a chicken will be in the brown one LOL!
Crack open the eggs one at a time and let students observe the insides. Lead them to discover that they are the same or similar. I have my students draw the insides of each on their pages and then write that the insides of the eggs look the same.
Discuss with students how the eggs are like people and relate what they learned to the beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr. I have my students write what they learned. If you would like to use the printable page with your students, it was free in my newsletter. Sign-up here.
Another book that I like to read to my students is Martin’s Big Words (Big Words): The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It explains Martin Luther King’s dream in a little more detail than the book above, but still in a way that young children can understand. I also like that it includes some of his actual quotes.
Love Comes in Different Colors Fingerprint Art
After discussing the Martin’s Big Words book, one of my favorite activities to do is to have the class collaboratively create a beautiful fingerprint art heart entitled “Love Comes in Different Colors”.
Each child uses a different color of paint for their fingerprints. First, they put their fingerprint in one of the boxes along the bottom that has their name in it. Then, they put several fingerprints in the heart (spread out).
The number of fingerprints that each student needs to make varies depending on the number of students in the class. It has ranged from 5-10 for me over the years.
Isn’t it beautiful? I just love how it turns out! The printable pattern for this activity was also included in my free newsletter. You can sign-up here.
Give Peace a Chance Activity
This is a new activity that I recently tried. I talk to the students about Martin Luther King, Jr. wanting to bring about change peacefully, with no fighting. We then discuss ways that they can promote peace in school, at home, and even in the community.
I then give each student a peace symbol. They draw and/or write how they can promote peace in the two large areas at the top of the symbol. Then they sign/write their first name and last name in the lower areas and color the peace sign if they wish.
If you would like to display your students’ peace signs, you can use the title “Give Peace a Chance” and even add this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…”.
This printable is also included in my free newsletter. Sign up here to access all the downloads in this post.