Martin Luther King

Behind the Lesson: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Posted on 02/01/2016

By Lori Bell, Teacher

During calendar time on Tuesday, Jan. 19, our class had a discussion on why we were not in school the day before. We read a picture book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The book talked about the things Dr. King enjoyed doing as a kid – football, basketball, singing. It discussed that one day some of his friends were not allowed to play with him any more because he was black. We had a discussion on how that would make them feel and if that was the right way to treat others.

The book went on to discuss the protests that King led in the ‘60s and how he wanted them to remain peaceful. We talked about the difference between the peaceful protests and some they may have seen on TV more recently. The students were really quiet and interested in the story. Some of the students talked about how sad it would be if they couldn’t play with their friends or go to the same parks, schools or restaurants. They were surprised when I told them that Dr. King died the same month and year that I was born – a really long time ago!

After we read the story and had our discussion, we gathered around the table, and I showed them the brown and white eggs. I asked them what they thought the eggs would look like on the inside. Some students thought the brown eggs would be brown on the inside. While they were all gathered around the table, I noticed how sweet the different hands looked all placed side by side on the table. I asked them to move in closer to the plate so I could take their picture, and that’s how it turned out!

Many of the students ‘got’ the lesson right away and said things like, ‘We are the same on the inside, too.’ We talked about: What matters is your heart and not what you look like on the outside. One of the students told his mom when she came to get him that afternoon, ‘Hey Mom, guess what? We are all the same on the inside!’ I am not sure any of the 4 year olds remembered Dr. King’s name at the end of the day, but I think they will remember his message after our lesson.

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