Friday, January 17, 2014

Making Meaning of the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. {Five for Friday Style!}

My sweet 2nd graders spent the week learning about the life and legacy of MLK. It was a great week with lots of learning and active engagement!

Countdown with me as I share what our week looked like, Five for Friday style!

Before I start any unit, big or small, I always start with the end in mind. For this unit on Martin Luther King, I wrote two essential questions (guiding questions) that I wanted my students to be able to answer by the end of the unit. Since my second graders' prior knowledge of MLK was limited, my questions were basic, but important in understanding the life and legacy of MLK. 

Throughout the lesson, I reminded students of our essential questions, and we added information throughout the unit. 

My Essential Questions:

Who was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,?
Why is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. important? 

I went on the hunt for some great resources to help us learn about MLK! I am a huge fan of Reading A-Z. I love how they have printables of the same book, but at different reading levels. They had three levels of the book pictured above, and another MLK book for my lower readers. Just what I needed! 

We met each day and read a section of our books. While reading, we paused to write down what Martin Luther King saw, did, felt, and thought on a graphic organizer. We also made a timeline of MLK's life... very 2nd grade Common Core of us, hehe...

To check our thinking and end our unit, my kiddos completed this quick writing assignment. It was their job to use their knew knowledge to answer our essential questions in writing. The cute graphics are from Creative Clips. 

I had one of my little {hyperactive} sweeties tell me, "This is a really fun writing assignment!" I really didn't expect my kiddos to be that excited about sharing what they learned about MLK. 

Our unit couldn't be complete without a cute and purposeful art project! I have to tell you... this art project was THE BEST! My students had such a great time bonding with one another while making this. 

I had my students hold hands (what a moment *awe*) and told them that we can all be in the same classroom learning, sharing, and laughing together because of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists. 

To symbolize this, I had my students pair up and trace their partner's hand in brown and white paper. 

Once both partners traced and cut-out one another's paper hands, they traded each traded one of the hands with each other. The students put these hands together, interlocking them, to make a sweet little heart. 

The final project turned out beautiful! I am so proud to have these hanging outside my classroom door! I stayed late just so I could have them hanging up, ready to greet my students on Tuesday morning!

How did you, or how will you celebrate Martin Luther King Day? 

Now that I'm able to relax after a busy week, I'm looking forward to reading about other bloggers' weeks! Be sure to check-out Five for Friday on Doodle Bugs Teaching!



  1. You're handprint art is so cute! I just LOVE teaching my students all about MLK Jr's legacy and equality.
    Teaching with Giggles

    1. Thank you, Veronica! It looks like your class was busy with MLK, too! It was a great unit to teach. I was happy to share about someone so important that my students knew so little about.


  2. I love your blog design...I've never seen it before and it's so pretty! You're handprints are adorable, my kids would have liked making that. I also teach 2nd and am now following you.

    Literacy Spark

    1. Thank you, Jessica! Thanks for following. The hand prints were a lot of fun for the kids to make. It was a great bonding experience :-)


  3. Could you please share your writing template? I would love to use it this week with my thirdsters! :)

    1. The freebie is up! Enjoy :)

    2. The writing template freebie is up where? Can I download it from a store? Am I missing the download link on this page??


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