This Martin Luther King Jr. Day was the first ever observed by my son. Up until this year, he wasn’t able to grasp the complexity of ideas like equality, segregation based on skin color, or advocacy.
Pjs understanding of the world around him, compassion towards others, and ability to voice right from wrong has improved tremendously in first grade. I’m quite proud of the gentlemen he is growing into!!!
In short, I felt he was ready to absorb why Martin Luther King Day was celebrated over our four day break from school.
I always start new learning with a book on the subject rather than a discussion.
I chose “The Crayon Box that Talked” to help him understand problems of diversity. The crayons do not get along but eventually are able to appreciate qualities in one another.
He illustrated and wrote about the book. We flipped through the book again to look for sentences that described what the crayons were thinking and feeling about one another.
After writing and sitting, I thought it a good idea to do some hands-on learning about diversity. I already had the idea to use scented Playdough to represent skin colors. Apparently it is a great idea because skin tone playdough colors are all over the net!
Here is the most popular picture from Spoonful via www.racheous.com
Beautiful isn’t it?! But I couldn’t seem to link to the direct source no matter where it was shared.
I eventually searched for each skin color from various sites. He loved that these all have a scent or special texture!!
- Reddish Light Brown- Natural Beach Living
- Root Beer Colored – Teaching Mama
- Chocolate Colored – Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Sand Tan Playdough – Paging Fun Mums
- Black (no glitter) – The Imagination Tree
- Almond with freckles – Fire Flies and Mud Pies
- Snow White – Buggy and Buddy
He made various people over a two day period. He even gave each person a good quality while we talked about how people were different.
We didn’t use any sort of pattern but I found these PLAYDOUGH MATS from Picklebums to use next time.
On day two through four, I thought we would watch a few readings of books for facts about Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a holiday so the library was closed. These are the two readings we watched on you tube.
I helped my son pause and rewind to write down facts from the books.
Facts About MLK – Kids Play and Create
The BEST visual resource for this topic was definitely another You Tube video. PJ was listening and watching intently to this creative children’s biography. The characters time travel!!
Next, I drew an outline of Dr. King and PJ colored it in…
I wasn’t sure if he would be interested in watching the famous “I Have a Dream” speech so I saved it for last. Don’t know why I was worried? He listened and watched the entire speech!! Not only that, he asked questions “What’s that?” and “What’s he say?” when he didn’t know the meaning of a word. It was the perfect opportunity to use the dictionary so I wrote a few words down to look up.
“I Have A Dream” speech – Teacher Tube
Examples of terms and words we defined…..
- sweltering in the heat of oppression
We finished learning about MLK’s most famous speech with copywork. I just drew a bubble and a few lines using a ruler for him to write on.
He is reading the speech out loud to himself here:)
More Martin Luther King Jr. Resources….
Activities – Moments A Day
Crafts – Kids Fun Review
Thank You for Reading!!
Places I share