Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Last week was a busy one, with a holiday on Monday and a snow day on Wednesday, but we still did a lot to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday, we watched a video called Mighty Times: The Children’s March.  It focused on the Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama in May of 1963.  The event caught the eye of the nation and led to President Kennedy publically supporting racial equality.  After the video, we had a discussion about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s involvement in the movement.  The kids learned a lot and had TONS of great questions.  Perhaps my favorite question was, “Why are we just now learning about this? I mean, I have never heard of any of this!”  It was great to present fifth graders with information that they want to learn more about!

The video is available from the Zinn Education Project, but even better, it is available to educators for free, along with several other materials!  You can learn more about this video here and can learn more about their other products by browsing around the website.

On Tuesday, we did a close reading activity about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that I found from The Sweetest Thing.  You can find it on TPT here.  The kids enjoyed reading about Dr. King and about the progress of creating a history to remember him and his actions.  They also used those close reading skills that we have been practicing so hard!
On Thursday (snow/ice day on Wednesday), we did another close reading activity about Dr. King.  This one, I found from Fifth in the Middle,  You can find it on TPT here.  This time, the kids had to use text evident to create a timeline, to find cause and effect relationships, and to complete a writing activity.  This one seemed like more work to me, but again, the kids loved it.  They really got into the timeline activity and wanted to add more events that they knew should be added to the timeline.

Overall, it was a great week with a lot of learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.  And even better, the kids had fun learning!


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