Sunday, January 13, 2013

MLK Day Activities



Read-Alouds


Here are a few of my very favorite read-aloud books to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport is a fabulous read aloud.  If you plan to read just one book about Martin Luther King, this should be the one.  I love the inspirational quotes on each page.  Although segregation is a difficult topic to tackle with students, this book opens the door for thoughtful discussions. 





Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo is another good choice for younger children.  The text is written in clear, easy to understand words for children.  The scratch-art style illustrations are beautiful! 




Here are a few other books worth checking out too!

                    



Activities


One activity my students  enjoy is Readers' Theater.  I love Readers' Theater, too, because my students want to read the scripts multiple times.  It's a sneaky way to get children to practice fluency and expression (and it builds self-confidence as well).  

I found a cute little play, Big Words, Strong Words by Bobbi Katz, that is perfect for Readers' Theater.  You can download it here from Scholastic.   

Another activity I use often with my students is word sorting (or making words).  Students use a set of letter tiles to build words and write them.  I can focus on particular phonics skill that we are studying or allow students to explore patterns on their own.  The goal is to discover the 'Mystery Word' by using all the letter tiles to form one final word.  



I created three word sort activities for Martin Luther King Day to share with you.  This is the first time that I've posted a document to Blogger, so I'm crossing my fingers that it works.  Just click on the links below to download the files from Google Docs.

Dreams Sort                   Freedom Sort                       Birthday Sort

I would love to have your feedback about these sorts, so please leave me a comment.  

What do you do to celebrate Martin Luther King Day in your classroom?  Please share!  :)









25 comments:

  1. Wendy, great book recommendations. We just started our study of MLK, Jr. today. We started by warming up to read (and reviewing why it's important to warm-up to read). We then took a look at a word splash related to one of the MLK, Jr. biographies I have. Students accessed their background knowledge and wrote what they already know about him. They also wrote two ?'s before reading. Tomorrow, I plan to introduce the genre of biographies. We'll read the bio I have, and we'll tie it into main idea/details. By the end of the week, students will write their own biographies about MLK, Jr. I'll try to download your awesome activities.

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    1. Please scroll down...I replied to this below. :)

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  2. I am so glad you commented on my clip art post! I love meeting new reading specialists who also love to blog!! Love to use Martin's Big Words, and our school even has a group set. I may have to pull that out for my third graders next week. Thanks for reminding me!

    Andrea
    Reading Toward the Stars

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Can I tell you again how much I love your new blog design? It has me thinking that its soon time for me to invest in a custom design. What a difference!

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  3. Jen, thanks for your sweet comments. I enjoy reading your stories from the classroom...you are an outstanding teacher! You know, I much as I love my position now, I still miss my first grade classroom. I miss planning special units of study like MLK, Jr. Day, and I especially miss reading aloud to students! I sometimes sneak into the class next door and read to them during my planning period. Does that sound weird? Thanks for leaving comments...I do appreciate them!

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  4. I agree with Martin's Big Words! I use it every year and it's falling apart! Thanks for the link to the Reader's Theatre, and the words sorts! Thanks for following me on my blog as well!
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

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    1. Thanks for following my blog; I appreciate it!

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  5. Hi Wendy!
    What a cute blog! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I am now your newest follower! Thank you for the making words freebies for MLK Day! They are great! I will use at least one of them for sure on Monday!
    Kim
    TheVeryBusyFirstGraders

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    1. Oh, you work on Monday?! I bet you will have a great day! Thanks for following me :)

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  6. Hi Wendy!

    I LOVE all of your sorts-I love using them with my first graders as well! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad I found you-your blog is going to be a great resource!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

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    1. Thanks for following me! I'm so thankful! :)

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  7. Howdy! I am coming to check you out after your comment and follow. Thanks for stopping by:) I got chills when I saw that you were talking about Martin's Big Words. I love that book so much! I hope to stop by again soon:)

    Brandi
    My Teacher Friend

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    1. Hi Brandi, thanks for the follow. I appreciate it!

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  8. Thank you so much for the follow! I am so glad you found me and that I can now follow you! Reading is such a big deal in first grade and as a new teacher, I feel like I could definitely improve my reading instruction/guided reading. I am excited to explore your blog and implement the tips and ideas you share!

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    1. Thanks for the follow! I'm sure that we have a lot to share with each other. I used to be a first grade teacher, so I enjoy following first grade blogs so much. They make my heart happy!

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  9. Thank you so much for coming by my site to follow me! I wanted to check out yours too and I love it! How did you get your design for your blog??

    I love Martin's Big Words! I also love My Brother Martin. In February we always do a lot more Black History Month stuff with some of my favs: No Mirrors in My Mamma's House (great for inferring), Precious and The Boo Hag, Momma Where are you From? (wonderful writing assignment idea), The Other Side, Goin' Someplace Special....I could keep going on and on!


    When I taught upper elementary we used to do Reader's Theater with MLK's I Have a Dream speech (the most famous parts of it anyway). We would listen to Dr. King speaking and how he gave the speech and we would talk about the passion that he spoke with. We would then talk about how we need to read with that same expression and importance. Then the kids would deliver his speech and try to convey the same passion! So much fun!!

    Hanging Out in First!

    Jessica

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    1. Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for stopping by! I used Blog Designs by Dani for my design. You can also fin some really nice designs at Leelou-Blogs.com. Search the freebie designs...there are some very nice templates there. Hope you find something you like!
      Wendy

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  10. Hi Wendy,
    I love the books Martin's Big Words and Happy Birthday Martin Luther King! In our Kindergarten classroom we talked about the difference between a dream you have at night and the kind of dream that Martin Luther King Jr. had. Then we drew and wrote examples of each. And of course their was singing and hand print painting involved in all that too! P/S I am your newest follower!
    ;0) Cara

    Kindergarten Boom Boom

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    1. Thanks so much for following me! I appreciate it!

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  11. Martin's Big Words is always one of my favorite books to read with my students. It makes such a bold statement, but in such a simple way. I'm your newest follower :)

    Maria
    Kinder-Craze

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    1. Thanks for following and for all your help today. I really appreciate the advice! :)

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  12. Wendy,

    Thanks for sharing your MLK ideas. We read Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King and my kiddos really enjoyed it. I'm your newest follower!

    Kelly

    http://kooncescorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for following me, Kelly! I love making new bloggy friends! :)

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  13. Thanks for the word sorts. They look great. Also, I love several of those books and read them to my students. I will make note of the others for the future.

    I am your newest follower and look forward to reading your posts.

    Becky
    Compassionate Teacher

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