With Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up, I knew we had to take a week to focus in on the message and life of this amazing American Civil Rights leader. We’ve discussed him on a few other occasions (check out last year’s Black History Month preschool post Black History is American History for more ideas on equal rights activities.) but I wanted to spend a full week diving into all he did to move forward fairness for all citizens in our country…because we have not yet arrived, and that breaks my heart. It is our job as educators and parents to raise up a generation who will recognize inequality when it rears its ugly head, and fight against the unfair treatment of any person for any reason- after all, the Bible teaches us to love everyone (Matthew 22:37). So lets all dream together with our littles about a more equal United States of America, and let’s teach them to love everyone in the same way Jesus did.
-Read to gather information: Read a nonfiction book about MLK and have your little tell you 5 facts they learned about him from the book.
-Dream writing practice page: I printed and had my 5 year old complete this “dream” writing practice page that I got from Teachers Pay Teachers.
-MLK ABC order: I introduced alphabetical order to my little and helped him work through alphabetizing this MLK themed list I printed from Teachers Pay Teachers.
-Letter to MLK: I had my little write a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. telling him why he admired him using an MLK letter printable I got from Teachers Pay Teachers.
-MLK easy reader: I read each page of this MLK easy reader to my littles then had them color the page.
-MLK book list:
-Martin adds on worksheet: We reviewed the “counting on” strategy for addition, then I had my little complete this adding on MLK worksheet I found on Teachers Pay Teachers.
-Martin subtracts worksheet: We reviewed subtracting using our fingers as manipulatives (show the first number, take the second number away, count or tell the answer) then used to to complete this MLK themed spin and subtract worksheet.
-MLK patterns: We used this MLK pattern printable to work on adding on to repeating patterns. Then I had my littles use the cards to make their own pattern. Then I made some patterns and had them continue them 2-3 pictures.
-MLK roll and cover: I printed this MLK themed roll and cover game, then had my littles take turns rolling a dice and covering the number they got with heart beads.
-Dove of peace word problems/number line practice: I introduced how to use a number line to add and subtract to my little, then helped him read the word problems on this dove of peace word problem page. Then he used the number line to figure out the answers.
-MLK KWL: A KWL chart is a great way to access little’s prior knowledge before you add on to it in a unit. It stands for Know, Want to know, and Learned. Basically before a unit of study, you ask your little what they already know about the subject. Then ask them what they’d like to learn. At the end of the study ask them what they did learn. We did this using a MLK themed KWL printable from Teachers Pay Teachers.
-“Peace Begins with You” read and discuss: Martin Luther KingJr. worked his whole life to bring about change peacefully- and peace is always something we need more of in our home and our world (anyone else have kids who bicker and can get just plain nasty with each other?) This activity was simple, but impactful. We started by sharing what we think peace is and why it is important. Then we read the story and discussed ways we can be peaceful people. You can also make a T-chart with “Ways to be peaceful” and “Why we should be peaceful” and write down your little’s thinking as they share.
-How I can be a friend drawing: We discussed how Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everyone to be friends, and talked about some ways we can show that we’re a good friend to others. Then I had my littles illustrate one of the ways on an MLK themed “I can be a friend” drawing page.
-“Should I Share My Ice Cream” sensory friendship activity: First we read “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” By Mo Willams. Then we discussed if Elephant and Piggie were being good friends or not. Next I had my littles play with some cotton balls and describe how they felt- we talked about how some words make you feel like that…soft, cozy, gentle…and came up with a list of words that make us feel that way. Then we did the same thing but with sandpaper…which is rough, scratchy, and hurts. We thought of words that make us feel that way too, then discussed how good friends use the first set of words. I got this idea from Preschool POWOL Packets.
–“I Have a Dream” speech: We watched a short version of MLK giving this famous speech on YouTube.
-Love everyone craft: I folded sheets of red paper in half, then drew half a heart on them so when opened they’d make a full heart. Then I had my littles cut them out. Next they traced their hands- one on creamy paper, one on brown- and cut them out (I did my 3 year old’s for him…he could handle the heart but not all those fingers!) They glued the hands on their hearts as we talked about how God loves everyone the exact same and wants us to love everyone the same too!
-Microphone craft and speech making dramatic play: I had my littles decorate toilet paper tubes with markers, then I added a ball of tin foil on top to make microphones. They used them to make their own “I have a dream” speeches. I got the microphone idea from Pinterest but I can’t for the life of me find where I pinned it…sorry y’all!
-MLK coloring page: I printed this MLK coloring page and had my littles work on their neat coloring skills.
-Peace sign paper plate craft: I had my littles paint paper plates with watercolors, then when they were dry I had them choose 3 colors of washi tape to make them into peace signs. I got this idea from 1, 2, 3 Homeschool for Me.
-Dove of peace dot art: I drew some doves on white paper, then talked about how the dove is a symbol of peace and how MLK used peaceful protests to bring about change in the world. Then I had them color their doves with dot markers. I got the idea from Song to Sing Blog.
-Letter of the week: Pp, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice.
-Word of the week: of, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, and workpage practice.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: empathy…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates generosity I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “You could tell your brother was upset and you comforted him like your own feelings got hurt- thank you for showing empathy.”)
- Nonfiction book about Martin Luther King Jr.
- Scrabble tiles
- “Peace Begins with You” book
- “Should I Share My Ice Cream” book
- toilet paper roll
- aluminum foil
- paper plate