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Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Plan

Teach your homeschooler about the great Martin Luther King Jr. during the month of January. The guideline below is for a fourth through sixth grade level, respectively. Alter the plans accordingly, making dictionary work into simple discussion of vocabulary.

I. Read and discuss this short informational essay:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday observed in the United States that celebrates the birth date of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. Dr. King’s date of birth is January 15th, but the actual holiday is observed on the third Monday in January. This holiday recognizes the amazing t accomplishments Martin Luther King Jr. made to American society. He led a campaign to gain equal rights for black Americans. His accomplishments changed our country in a historically positive way! His focus was always on on non-violence,and these protests eventually led, peacefully, to new laws that ended racial discrimination in America. This holiday is only one of four national holidays in America to commemorate a person. This shows just how important Martin Luther King Jr. Was. Sadly he was assassinated in 1968. The holiday, to honor him and his legacy, was first observed in1986, during Ronald Reagan's presidency.

II. Define the following vocabulary words and use them in a meaningful sentence:

1.legacy
2.civil
3.equal
4.commemorate
5.protest
6.discrimintaion
7.observed
8.campaign
9.important
10.focus

III. Read the following books and discuss them with your homeschooler:
1.Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader
2.Martin Luther King, Jr. (DK Biography) by Amy Pastan
3.Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. (Scholastic Bookshelf) by Jean Marzollo (*Younger students)

IV. News Report Assignment and Essay:
Find an article in the newpaper (print or online) about a local Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration or public observation of this holiday. Write why you feel this is an important event to hold, especially focussing on the young Americans. What should a school age child know about this great man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? For younger students have them write one or two sentences and draw a corresponding picture.

V. View and Discuss:
Watch "Martin Luther King Jr. - I Have a Dream" (DVD) and discuss the speech with your child. Ask them their thoughts on his enthusiasm, motivation and conviction. List reasons why his speech is historic and meaningful.





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