Martin Luther King Jr. Activities


Teaching young students about MLK Day is very important, yet it can be challenging to explain to students how things used to be long ago when there was segregation. Here is a great video made by young students that explains the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in very simplified way kids will understand.

Here is a couple of MLK mini-booklets. I like to print these out in black and white for my students and I print one copy in color for myself to read to the students.  I purposely did not put page numbers on these so teachers can pick and choose which pages they want to print. 

One of my favorite MLK books to read to students is "Martin's Big Words; The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." by Doreen Rappaport. This picture book brings to life Martin's powerful message in some of his own words.  It tells the story of his life and it shows how he was a gifted speaker and influential leader. After reading this book,  I love to show the video of it and have students be thinking about Martin's big words. We make a web on the board and students copy all those powerful words. 


Students can make their own "I Have A Dream" mini handprint booklets. It is important to have students be thinking about ways to make the world a better place for mankind and not about what they wish for themselves. After making these mini-books, I let the students read and share their thoughts with their classmates. 

During MLK week, Here is another great follow-up activity that I enjoy doing with the students. Begin by teaching the students the song "With My Own Two Hands"  lyrics by Ben Harper. This video version is sung by Jack Johnson. 


Students brainstorm ways that they can make the world a better place with their own two hands and share their ideas with a thinking partner. They can practice reading the song lyrics on this worksheet and color in their hands using flesh-tone crayons. Students will then write a sentence about how they can use their hands to make the world a better place. Students who want to share their writing piece with the whole class may do so when they are done. 


Here is an easy cut-and-paste timeline that you can do with your students. This timeline is also a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device using Easel. It has a self-correcting feature. Did you know that Easel is free on TPT?

There is a wide range of writing prompts. You can differentiate your instruction by choosing the primary or secondary lined paper. Share the poems and songs with your students and have fun doing the "Pathway to Freedom" mazes and craftivity with the hands holding the globe. Many of these sheets come in both black and white and color versions to choose from. 

If you like these MLK activities, you can grab get them here.  What is your favorite MLK book or video that you enjoy introducing to your student? Please comment below. I'd love to hear any suggestions.