Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day With Children

Hey Everyone,
The winter days are quickly passing by here in North Carolina. Soon it will be time to teach my children about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the hopes he had for each of us. Over the years I have encouraged my children to think more about Dr. King and how he would want us to treat each other. I have blended this in with learning about bullying because the simple truth of the matter is that we all want to be treated kindly and be respected. I feel like this is a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy that children can learn about and internalize.
Children at the elementary level have a deep sense of fairness and what it means to be treated fairly. As teachers we often hear, "It's not fair!" in response to many problems in the classroom and on the playground. We each do our own version of the mini-lecture of how would that make you feel and encourage them to get back to work or play and command them to, "Be Nice to Each Other!" Over the years I have created activities to get children to think deeper about fairness, kindness and how we treat each other. I connected these activities with our study of Martin Luther King Jr. My hope it that we can create children who are thinkers rather than reactors. I want them to learn about compassion and caring. I want the children to help each other. I feel like this is a meaningful way to help children learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his hopes and dreams for our world.

You can grab some freebies that are focused on anti-bullying by heading over to my blog Teaching Resources for the Classroom.

My unit Peace, Love, Learning Activities for Martin Luther King Jr.Day with a Focus on Anti-Bullying is on sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. There are writing activities, art activities, science, poetry and visualization activities for writing. This is an extensive unit with bonus math activities.

I want to leave you with a poem I wrote for this unit! I use this poem with a book called The Colors of Us. The poem recognizes that each child is unique and each child brings something special to a friendship. The poem is open-ended so the children can write about what they like to do with a friend. They can decorate the ice cream cone with drawings of friends and what they like to do with their friends. This is included in the unit but you are welcome to copy the poem. Please give me credit as the author! Thanks so much.

May all your hopes and dreams come true.
All the best,

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