The third Monday in January is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a commemoration of the life of the civil rights leader on the occasion of his birthday. Signed into law in 1983 and first observed in 1986, today it is a federal holiday celebrating the enduring power of the civil rights movement and one of its most prominent voices.
For those looking to integrate this national celebration into the classroom, there are a number of great digital resources available. Let’s explore a few.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Fliphunt
A fliphunt is a type of activity, designed by Kathi Kersznowski, that creates a scavenger hunt using the Flipgrid app. It is a fun way of having your students get out of their seats, participate in the learning, and demonstrate their understanding and application.
Use this fliphunt to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate what he stood for. For each response, use the Task Title hashtag as the title of your video. For each task, students have up to 90 seconds to share your response.
An Engaging Digital Breakout
Digital breakouts are an interactive way for students to explore any number of topics. The process involves using knowledge and reasoning to solve a series of clues that “unlock” digital locks, just as you might with a physical breakout box.
With this MLK-themed breakout, students can learn about Dr. King’s family and early life, his influences, and the achievements he gained over the course of his celebrated career. Give it a try yourself. You can find our MLK Breakout here.
A Day of Service
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. The Corporation for National and Community Service has been charged to lead this national day of service. All Americans are encouraged to volunteer and spend the day improving their communities. The motto for MLK Day is “a day on, not a day off.”
If you are planning a classroom, campus, or district project to better your school or community, register your project here.
Primary Lesson Plans from Scholastic
Explore Scholastic’s How Do You Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This page has several real teachers sharing their favorite ways to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights leader. Geared for first, second, and third-grade students, the page includes craft projects, reading suggestions, posters and printables, and suggestions from other educators.
Free Printable Resources
Old-school printables are still valuable, and the internet provides endless opportunities to develop, share, and find handouts, worksheets, and other printables you may find useful in the classroom. Check out studenthandouts.com for free printable activities: biographic outline, crossword puzzle, geography map, word search, and more for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Looking for videos to show to your class? Check out these listed below.
The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by 88 brains
Martin Luther King Jr. by BrainPOP
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Biography for Kids by Educational Videos for Students
Looking for More?
Check out our list digital resources for teaching and learning about the U.S. civil rights movement here.Photo: Brian Kraus