January 10, 2012

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Free Short Video and Printable Resources!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest leaders of our time, and I believe it's important to honor him and recognize the impact that he had on America. However, as a classroom teacher I struggled to find appropriate teaching materials for elementary students on this topic. Most resources were either too vague to be effective or too detailed and overwhelming for 4th and 5th graders. My students were old enough to start learning about racial inequality and the civil rights movement, and they needed to have opportunities to explore and discuss these concepts.

So I was excited to discover that BrainPOP.com has a wonderful free video called Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that's perfect for upper elementary students! It's just 4 minutes long and features two lovable animated characters, Tim and Moby. Somehow Tim and Moby manage to explain the important events in Dr. King's life and his impact on the civil rights movement in a way that's very easy to understand.

BrainPOP.com has a number of resources to go along with the video like an online quiz and several activity pages. But I wanted to create a few more items to include cooperative learning lessons, extended vocabulary practice, and discussion cards. I must admit that I got a bit carried away! I ended up creating a 13-page packet of supplementary materials! The packet is aligned with CCSS standards for informational text for grades 3 through 6, although the lessons might take a bit of adapting if used with 3rd graders. The discussion activities are also aligned with speaking and listening standards.

During the month of January, you can download this teaching packet for free by clicking on the image which will take you to my Seasonal Page on Teaching Resources. You can find loads of other seasonal activities there, too! If you don't find it there, sign up for my email newsletter, Candler's Classroom Connections, and look for the link to Laura's Best Freebies, a you'll find this on the private page of freebies for subscribers.

If you like this free lesson, you'll enjoy my January Activities Mini Pack which has a character map activity that involves listening to a story and recording details about Dr. King's life. I hope you enjoy these activities, and please follow me on TpT to be sure you receive notifications when I add new freebies!

By the way, this blog article was just featured on Denise Boehm's Sunny Days in Second Grade blog as a part of her Show N Tell Tuesday! She selected 5 freebies to feature and then opened the blog post up to other freebies through a link up. So far there are 16 more freebies for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Be sure to check it out!

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