When you talk about Civil Rights in America, Martin Luther King Jr. rises to the top of any discussion. He played an integral part in our country’s Civil Right Movement which protested racial discrimination at the state and federal level, and he did it using nonviolent activism. After his assassination in 1968, there was an immediate interest in celebrating the life of MLK through a holiday observance. Even though it took almost 20 years to happen, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of his passing, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the courage and perseverance he represented in fighting racial discrimination is an important lesson we MUST teach our children. If you’re unsure how to share this message with your children, we’ve found some simple activities to help you share the life and legacy that Martin Luther King Jr. represented.
1. Rainbow of Friends
One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dreams was that “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” This simple free printable we found at ParentingChaos.com embodies MLK’s dream. You can put his words into action by coloring this rainbow along with your kids, and talking about how amazing it is to embrace diversity in friendships.
You can find even more projects for MLK day at ParentingChaos.com.
2. Read About Martin Luther King Jr.
Sometimes it’s the most simple lessons that make the most impact and reading is an easy way to tell our kids about the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are many books you can find that discuss his life and influence, and the book pictured above, Martin’s Big Words: The Life Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a best-selling picture good that’s good for kids of all ages.
3. Watch The Kid President Tell the Story Of MLK
You’ve probably seen some pretty hilarious videos by the Kid President, and while he puts his funny twist on this video of MLK, he also puts in a lot of heart. The KP talks about the life of MLK, but turns his story into an object lesson on perseverance in a way that kids understand. This is a sweet video that both kids and parents will enjoy watching together.
4. Give the Kids Journal Prompts On MLK
For older kids, a great way to internalize important concepts is by writing about them. Whip out the journal and pick out a handful of writing prompts from a list like this awesome list we found at JournalBuddies.com, all on the topic of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With 61 prompts, your kids will have plenty to write about!
5. MLK Quotes Activity
Give your kids points to ponder with a simple quote activity like these. This free packet comes with two full pages of MLK quotes, and then worksheets for your kids to pick their favorite and draw illustrations. It’s a wonderful way for them to internalize the big concepts that MLK fought for.
You can download this free packet at TeachersPayTeachers.com.
6. MLK Egg Cracking Activity
At the heart of Dr. King’s messages was the fact that although we all look different on the outside, we are ALL people and deserve to be treated equally. This activity involving different colored eggs is great for children, who can clearly see the exterior of the eggs differ. But once they crack them open, it’s easy to see that the eggs inside are impossible to tell apart.
We found this amazing teachable activity at TheSeasonedMom.com. Head over for more info and some great family favorite recipes.