Home Announcements/Important Dates Five Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities and Templates for the Classroom

Five Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities and Templates for the Classroom

by Miguel Guhlin
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Controversial, spiritual, and engaging, Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK, Jr.) continues to influence our lives and the world. How can you capture the scope of his legacy in a day or even a few short activities? Let’s take a look at five ed tech-friendly activities that are approachable and provide insights into King’s legacy. There are templates for each that you can adapt and improve to meet your needs. No permission required! And I’ll share a roundup of other TCEA blog articles so you can explore even more activities to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

1) Dicebreakers Activity

Need a quick way to cultivate curiosity in your students? Dicebreakers offer one possibility. This dicebreaker makes it easy to get started exploring MLK, Jr.’s roots.

MLKJR Templates

Get a copy of the Google Slides template for Dicebreaker – This dicebreaker activity has been updated with fresh content not reflected in image shown above.

2) Internet Treasure Hunt

Creating internet treasure hunts is so easy now! And Google even takes the pain out of finding “in the text” answers to questions. Treasure hunts make searching a specific set of resources the focus. That’s the difference between a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt, which can have a pretty broad scope.

Treasure hunts go beyond fact-finding scavenger hunts to focus on developing student critical thinking.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Source: Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this MLK, Jr. Internet Treasure Hunt, we’ll take a look at questions that exercise our thinking. Responding to these questions requires some background or foundational knowledge about MLK, Jr.

In Part 1, your students will use a jigsaw activity to build their background knowledge. You can read about this cooperative learning strategy in the introduction to the treasure hunt linked above.

In Part 2, students will develop their responses to questions in the treasure hunt. You will access educator curated resources arranged in Wakelet collections.

MLKJR Templates

3) Digital Choice Board

“There is not one right trajectory of progress for all students,” says John Hattie. That’s why choice boards are great. They allow for multiple trajectories towards success. What’s more, they make thinking visible and student assessment easier.

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Set up correctly, choice boards can offer students differentiated avenues towards success. What are some of those avenues toward success? We can include color-coding and giving students choice over learning tasks. What’s more, activities can include drawing or note-taking about their learning. These are some reasons why this activity ranks as my favorite.

MLKJR Templates

Get a copy of the Google Slides choice board template

Check out this MLK, Jr. Digital Choice Board above. How would you improve it? Read more about digital choice boards.

Did You Know?

You can do a virtual tour of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church. Be sure to explore the link to see the virtual tour via @HistoryViewVr.

4) Word Cloud Analysis

Want students to analyze Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech? Drop it into a word cloud, but make it in the shape of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLKJR Templates

Students can both see how the words take shape and analyze their impact. They can choose to add emphasis to certain words in the text and then explain why they decided to emphasize them. Additionally, students can include this shape poem of MLK, Jr.’s bust in a podcast, short video clip, or classroom exhibit.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Need some suggestions for word cloud creation? Consider using WordArt.com.

5) Vimboard

If you’re looking for a quick entry or exit ticket activity about Martin Luther King, Jr., you can use a tool like Vimboard. It will allow you to take a game-based approach and engage students in an activity that reveals MLK, Jr.

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Explore this Vimboard that focuses on “in the text” type questions. Intended for grades K-2, you can step up the level of the questions to match your students’ age or grade.

MLKJR Templates

View Amy Smith’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Vimboard

Wait, There’s More!

Wish there were more activities and resources? You will want to read some of these TCEA blog articles:

It’s never too late to learn more about a great American visionary. And certainly never too late to emulate one.

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