TeachersFirst's Martin Luther King, Jr. Resources
These teacher-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst provide lesson ideas, activities, research materials, and interactive sites for studying Martin Luther King, Jr. Whether you are celebrating Martin Luther King Day in January or including Dr. King in units on the 1960s, civil rights, or famous Americans, start from this list recommended by Thinking Teachers. Don't miss the TeachersFirst Exclusive lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. For even more resources, try this page with all resources tagged civil rights.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources found on this site to include with your teaching units. If you find that some of the reading material is useful, but is above the reading level of your students, use a summarizing tool such as SummarizeThis reviewed here, to break down large portions of text into manageable content. Include activities from this site as part of a larger unit using a learning management system such as Crio, reviewed here. Use Crio to build an interactive learning experience that includes videos, reading activities, quizzes, and images. Extend student learning by asking them to become the creators through sharing their knowledge with others. Provide options for students to create audio podcasts with Synth, reviewed here, make explainer videos using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker , reviewed here, or use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to take viewers on a virtual journey through map locations.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomAlthough this activity seems quite simple, it provides many opportunities for extending student learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. and also inspires use as an activity with other topics. Instead of using images from picture books, ask students to create their own drawings representing events from any book, a process in a scientific experiment or study, or historic events. Scan or take pictures of student work then add them into a Google SlideShow or PowerPoint as recommended on this site to use as a digital timeline activity. Take this activity a step further and modify learning using a digital timeline creator like eStory, reviewed here, to create a digital timeline including images and links to media. For additional tools and ideas, take a look at other timeline creation tools located here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to include this virtual learning experience as part of civil rights lessons and Black History Month activities. Include a link to the experience on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. As students travel along the learning path, replace pen and paper and engage them by asking students to use an online note taking tool like Webnote, reviewed here, to write down their thoughts and questions they may have. As students learn about Civil Rights events, have them enhance their learning by asking them to step back in time and create podcasts from this time. Use Podcast Generator, reviewed here, a free tool for creating and sharing podcasts. Extend learning by challenging students find an image from the Civil Rights movement and create an annotated image using ThingLink, reviewed here. Thinglink offers tools allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUsing the Activity lesson plan/viewing guide, have the before viewing discussion with your class. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest and quiet ones) by using a backchannel tool like 81 Dash, reviewed here. Then, show the video to the whole class, or "flip" the class and have them watch it at home. Either way, the viewing guide questions could be inserted into the video using a tool such as playposit (formerly known as eduCanon), reviewed here. After the video, use the discussion questions and 81 Dash again. Next, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates.
The reviewers at TeachersFirst have some suggestions for tools to use for those final projects: For items 1-4 make a chart using a tool such as Canva, reviewed here, or Draw.io, reviewed here. For managing a project like item 5 use Google Keep, reviewed here, Workflowy, reviewed here, or Todoist, reviewed here. For items 6 & 7, biography type projects, use Fakebook, reviewed here, and for item 8, make a collage, use Fotojet, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomCivil Rights is about more than a movement that took place forty plus years ago. Americans have fought for their civil rights going back to the late 1700s. We are still fighting for them today. Review the timeline with a projector and the whole class. Extend student learning by suggesting to students that some of the articles have parallel situations going on today. Have them choose an article and research the situation from back in the 1960s and then compare it to a similar situation that is ongoing in the 21st century. Challenge students to redefine their technology learning by presenting their findings to classmates with an interactive, multimedia infographic or interactive poster using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomExplore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and with lessons on racism and bias throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
Grades6 to 12
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