It often seems like January is a time when middle school teachers go into turbo TEST PREP mode. In my classroom, in addition to test prep work, we also begin a variety of writing assignments and novel units. Despite all these competing priorities, it is important not to overlook January’s unique opportunity to educate students about one of America’s great leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. King…
In the past, I utilized YouTube videos or a showing of Our Friend, Martin to pay homage to Dr. King. While these ideas sufficed for middle school students, I wanted a more engaging way to share the history and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A few years ago, I took the time to create two separate resources to help my students learn more about this significant individual in American history.
The first is a set of 20 informational text task cards spanning his life. The task cards are common core aligned and cover grades 4-6 RI. They can be used in a literacy center, as a class scoot, or in small groups. These turned out to be a great resource for sharing Dr. King’s biography with students while also helping them navigate informational text effectively. You can see the full description in my TPT store.
Another resource I created is a reader’s theater script. The text focuses on a group of students doing research in order to present information to the class about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your upper elementary and middle school students will love performing this script!
The resource includes comprehension activities, including reader response questions, context clue word work, journal writing, and an interactive notebook page based on information shared in the selection. This resource is also common core aligned and covers both reading literature and writing standards RL.1-4 and W.4 and L.5 for grades 4-8. Click the image below to learn more.
Both of these resources are inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your instruction. Your students will love them! If anything else, I hope this post inspires you to brainstorm your own middle school activities to teach the next generation about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.