What better time to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. in upper elementary than at the beginning of the new year? A new year for many students means a fresh start, making changes, and a sense of hope for a better future. Part of Martin Luther King Jr’s philosophy embodied many things we hope for in the new year. With MLK Day celebrated on the third Monday in January, it is the perfect time to teach students about this inspirational man and how crucial the Civil Rights Movement was in American history. Likewise, finding the right activities for your students is also essential. Thankfully, these two MLK Day activities for upper elementary are ready to help students celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.!
MLK Day Activities in Upper Elementary
Honestly, there is so much information to share with students about MLK. From social justice to acceptance, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on it all! Even though elementary students are young, they can understand the magnitude of his words and this time in history. Before teachers begin MLK Day activities, having students learn the significance behind the holiday is important. As students understand MLK’s life and story, they will see how he has reshaped America’s story.
No-Prep MLK Day Activities
There are so many ways to incorporate MLK Day activities into your classroom. Thankfully, the MLK Jr. No-Prep Packet is full of math and reading skills! There are over 20 print-and-go pages to choose from. For teachers, getting back in the swing of writing lesson plans after a long holiday break can be challenging. However, with these no-prep MLK worksheets, all the planning is done for you! Teachers can focus on helping students learn about MLK’s incredible journey without the stress.
At this point in the year, keeping students’ skills sharp is necessary. Luckily, the no-prep packet covers so many essential reading skills. This includes writing prompts for Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” and MLK cut and paste timeline, context clue practice, vocabulary word search, and more. Students will love learning all about the great things he did for human rights while practicing reading skills.
Although MLK Jr. is part of history, that doesn’t mean he can’t be taught as part of math. There are tons of fun math worksheets that incorporate how he was an inspiration. Specifically, students will practice fractional parts with Freedom Fractions, multiplication and division with an MLK Jr. color-by-code, and practice MLK vocabulary with a fun crossword puzzle. Honestly, this is a fantastic way to combine student learning with history.
MLK Day Activities for Reading
While planning MLK Day activities for upper elementary, allowing students to read about Martin Luther King Jr is imperative. Reading allows students to form their own thoughts, opinions, inferences, and questions. Luckily, the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Comprehension Passages enable students to read and dive deep into King’s fight for social justice.
This week-long lesson will allow students to learn thoroughly about Mr. King’s mission. Students will read MLK Jr.’s Fight For Equality: A True Hero! Passage and practice close reading skills. Meeting the needs of our students is a teacher’s priority. Thankfully, it includes leveled reading passages so you can easily differentiate instruction.
Students will love digging deep into the life of MLK as they work through the four-step close reading process. Students will review skills such as making logical inferences, citing textual evidence, and drawing conclusions from the text. Everything students need to set them up for success is included! Specifically, there are annotation cards, graphic organizers, vocabulary practice, classroom posters, and text-dependent questions. Teachers really can print and go!
Beyond MLK Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day became didn’t become a federal holiday until 1986. However, many celebrated his life long before the holiday. Indeed, for all of his determination during the Civil Rights Movement, he deserves much more than just a day. While planning for MLK Day, don’t forget to incorporate him into your lesson plans for Black History Month in February. After studying Martin Luther King Jr., students will look forward to learning about more significant individuals and their efforts.
There are so many fantastic options for MLK Day activities for upper elementary. Students will love celebrating his life with the MLK Jr. No-Prep Packet and the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Comprehension Passages. Honestly, no matter which you choose, students will be thankful they are learning about meaningful history, Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact, and the legacy he left behind.
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