TeachersFirst's Martin Luther King, Jr. Resources

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These teacher-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst provide lesson ideas, activities, research materials, and interactive sites for studying Martin Luther King, Jr. Whether you are celebrating Martin Luther King Day in January or including Dr. King in units on the 1960s, civil rights, or famous Americans, start from this list recommended by Thinking Teachers. Don't miss the  TeachersFirst Exclusive lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. For even more resources, try this page with all resources tagged civil rights.

 

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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' Video Lesson - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' video portrays the importance to democracy of having a free press. Using original clips from different television news shows, newspapers, and...more
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'The Press and the Civil Rights Movement' video portrays the importance to democracy of having a free press. Using original clips from different television news shows, newspapers, and photographs (all primary sources) of the 1950s and 1960s the video delves into the idea that the civil rights movement may not have gotten very far without a free press. Find a step by step lesson plan including before and after viewing discussion questions, a viewing guide with short answer questions, and a handout with the names of the major figures in the video and what they had to do with the civil rights movement. View the video before showing to students to deem whether the strong language, gestures, and violence may be inappropriate for your class.

tag(s): civil rights (121), constitution (87), freedom of speech (11), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Using the Activity lesson plan/viewing guide, have the before viewing discussion with your class. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest and quiet ones) by using a backchannel tool like 81 Dash, reviewed here. Then, show the video to the whole class, or "flip" the class and have them watch it at home. Either way, the viewing guide questions could be inserted into the video using a tool such as playposit (formerly known as eduCanon), reviewed here. After the video, use the discussion questions and 81 Dash again. Next, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates.

The reviewers at TeachersFirst have some suggestions for tools to use for those final projects: For items 1-4 make a chart using a tool such as Canva, reviewed here, or Draw.io, reviewed here. For managing a project like item 5 use Google Keep, reviewed here, Workflowy, reviewed here, or Todoist, reviewed here. For items 6 & 7, biography type projects, use Fakebook, reviewed here, and for item 8, make a collage, use Fotojet, reviewed here.
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Civil Rights Timeline - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification...more
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This interactive timeline from NewseumED uses primary source news articles and photographs, with explanations, about the events covering American's civil rights from the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 through Alexander vs. Holmes in 1969. Use the slider at the top to see all of the articles. Of course there are the usual articles about the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, the March on Washington, The Formation of the Black Panther Party, and Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963. However, there are many other interesting articles that are pertinent to today's news, too many to list here. Some of these are: Poor People's Campaign 1968, Riots Spur National Study 1967, Orangeburg Massacre 1968, Watts Riot and the Bloody Sunday March 1965, Freedom Summer Campaign for Voter Registration (and education for black children) 1964, Baptist Church Bombing 1963, and The Children's Crusade 1963. To access this timeline you must register for a FREE NeweumED account.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), constitution (87), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Civil Rights is about more than a movement that took place forty plus years ago. Americans have fought for their civil rights going back to the late 1700s. We are still fighting for them today. Review the timeline with a projector and the whole class. Then suggest to students that some of the articles have parallel situations going on today. Have them choose an article and research the situation from back in the 1960s and then compare it to a similar situation that is ongoing in the 21st century. Challenge students to present their findings to classmates by creating a simple infographic or interactive poster using Canva, reviewed here.

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36), racism (16), video (278)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Celebrating the Holidays with a Kid's Heart - Roxie Carroll - A Kids Heart

Grades
K to 4
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print,...more
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print, desktop wallpaper, and whole lot more! Build background knowledge about the many holidays people around the world celebrate. Some of the holidays included are birthdays, New Years, Winter, Father's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Summer Time, Independence Day, Presidents' Day, Purim, St Patrick's Day, Spring Time, Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Grandparents' Day, Fall Harvest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Find informative, entertaining activities at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (54), earth day (110), fall festival (5), fathers day (10), hanukkah (14), holidays (146), july 4th (7), martin luther king (36), mothers day (12), new years (11), preK (294), rosh hashanah (7), st patricks day (12), thanksgiving (32), valentines day (15), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Need to find quick activities for a special holiday in your class? Find ready-made activities to use during center time, class celebrations, or special reward time on your interactive whiteboard. After school programs can easily use activities for all different interests during holiday times.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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History and Politics Out Loud - WyzAnt Tutoring

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin...more
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others. View a short biography and background along with links to a famous speech (or speeches) given by that person. Some speeches are audio only, others are YouTube videos. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always download the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): churchill (6), declaration of independence (13), inauguration (11), kennedy (25), martin luther king (36), persuasive writing (57), presidents (121), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Share speeches from this site on your class webpage or blog for students to view at home. Share them with your class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person after viewing and listening to speeches on this site. Use the text of speeches to create a word cloud (try Wordle, -reviewed here) to analyze a leader's priorities and emphasis. Use these examples as students prepare their own persuasive (or propaganda) speeches in English or civics classes. Teachers or ELL students can offer speeches with accompanying texts to help build vocabulary and listening skills.
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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle - Martin Luther King, Jr., Research & Education Institute

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a one stop shop index for all things about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Resources include encyclopedias, chronologies, transcribed documents, quotes...more
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This is a one stop shop index for all things about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Resources include encyclopedias, chronologies, transcribed documents, quotes and audio files of Dr. King's speeches.

tag(s): civil rights (121), martin luther king (36), rosa parks (6)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect place to send students for research. Have students use the timeline to find about important dates in civil rights history. Use the encyclopedia to not only learn about civil rights champions, but about organizations of that time.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change - The King Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring ...more
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring him, his wife and family, and more. There are video and audio inserts, PDF printables, excellent research information, and a very inspiring Flash enabled speech. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Share the video and/or audio clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use this site for research projects. Challenge students to write a blog from King's perspective. Have students pretend that he could write a blog for people to read in the 2000s. What would he say? Has his dream come true?
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Remembering Martin Luther King - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 4
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This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks,...more
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This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks, science experiments (some with eggs), and more. Ready to print PDF files make this unit easy to use. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), civil rights (121), holidays (146), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Students can hone counting skills with the "Birmingham Bus" or test their powers of scientific observation by comparing brown and white eggs.
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Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 8
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily...more
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily viewed full-screen on your classroom interactive whiteboard. The site is easy to navigate with links built right into the text for vocabulary and other relevant information. The activities help students understand the importance and necessity of every individual citizen in a democracy working together to contribute to a better way of life for all.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36), rosa parks (6), tolerance (9), women (94)

In the Classroom

Spark your students' interest for how one brave individual changed history by not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger. Whether you are doing a unit on people who make a difference, civil rights, tolerance, or studying women and events in history, this self-contained website provides resources and materials that you can display on your classroom whiteboard and involve students in using the interactive links to enhance learning and spring board discussions on what still needs to be done in regards to acceptance and embracing racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Use an online tool like The Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast discrimination in our country then with similar challenges we face today, and what still needs to be accomplished for a better tomorrow. Broaden the concepts to include that even when we are brave and have courage, change doesn't come about immediately; it takes time and continued perseverance. Culminate the unit with a writing prompt for students to reflect on and explain: Have you ever faced something that you thought you couldn't stand up to?
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Finishing the Dream - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers a collection of videos on the Civil Rights Movement. Topics range from Brown Vs. Board of Education to the assassination of Martin Luther King. The time span ...more
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This site offers a collection of videos on the Civil Rights Movement. Topics range from Brown Vs. Board of Education to the assassination of Martin Luther King. The time span is from the 1950s to the present, the most current being a special produced by NBC asking about "finishing the dream." Each of the ten topic areas links to many news clips that focus on the particular topic of that civil rights problem. Each clip can be "flipped" to see more information about its source, description etc. Finishing the Dream is a free area of the broader NBC Learn video site that is subscription-based. There is even an embeddable widget to make the collection available on other web sites or blogs.

tag(s): civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Include this site when your students are going to do a research project on civil rights or MLK. Use one of the videos from the site to introduce a civil rights unit. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the videos/topics together and create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Challenge groups to narrate a picture using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Compare videos from this site to examine the question of how King's vision is being implemented today. If you know how, embed the widget for the entire collection on your class web page for students to access in and out of school during your civil rights unit or in January near Martin Luther King Day.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MLKing Jr. Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Martin Luther King Jr. vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study MLK Jr. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.

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Martin Luther King Papers Project - Stanford University

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6 to 12
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Stanford's collection of King resources is among the most complete, and includes biographical and contextual information on King and his work. There are original documents as well as...more
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Stanford's collection of King resources is among the most complete, and includes biographical and contextual information on King and his work. There are original documents as well as timelines and other study aids. Visit the Liberation Curriculum to find lesson plans, an online dictionary, and other features. The lesson plans are linked to California standards. The site also includes video clips that require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1960s (27), africa (170), african american (110), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about King. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own videos about Martin Luther King, Jr. Be sure to check out the lesson plans: they are detailed and simple to use.
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March on Washington Lesson - PBS Newshour

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King ...more
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King and the struggle for equal rights in America. The lesson includes links to important documents (some PDF files, others require Flash), extension activities, thinking questions, audio and video footage, and correlations to National Standards in history, civics, culture, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to use and easy to follow! The extension activities offer some excellent higher order thinking questions. After sharing video footage with your students, why not project one of the extension activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a blog answering the questions in the extension activities.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Nobel Lecture - Nobel Foundation

Grades
9 to 12
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Dr. King's lecture on the occasion of his award of the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 has elements that still resonate in the political structure of today's world. Try this ...more
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Dr. King's lecture on the occasion of his award of the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 has elements that still resonate in the political structure of today's world. Try this resource as part of a study on non-violence, civil rights, or government. The document is longer than some students might like, but it is not difficult reading. The site also includes a two minute sound recording that requires RealPlayer. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Since this speech (document) is so lengthy, why not break it down into several lessons. Have students dissect the words of King. What still holds true in the 21st century? What has changed?

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Seattle's tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. - Seattle Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, created by the Seattle Times, offers an impressive look into the life and words of Martin Luther King, Jr. This extensive site includes a timeline, several study guides ...more
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This site, created by the Seattle Times, offers an impressive look into the life and words of Martin Luther King, Jr. This extensive site includes a timeline, several study guides with various higher order thinking activities, biographical information, video and audio clips, printables, links for more information, and authentic photos. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1960s (27), africa (170), african american (110), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Check out these free study guides, perfect for your MLK Jr. celebration or even Black History Month. Have students respond to the "thinking questions" by creating a journal entry or blog written by King. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
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Exploring the Power of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Words through Diamante Poetry - Sharon Webster / NCTE

Grades
9 to 12
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Reading, writing, and thinking come together with history in this beautifully detailed lesson plan that focuses on the power and passion of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream"...more
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Reading, writing, and thinking come together with history in this beautifully detailed lesson plan that focuses on the power and passion of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. After reading and interpreting the text, students are asked to create original poetry using words and themes taken from King's speech. All materials, including rubrics, handouts and worksheets (mainly pdf), a captioned audio clip, video clip (requiring Real Player), related Web resources, and links to NCTE/IRA standards are included.

tag(s): martin luther king (36), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go, includes interactive elements, and is even linked to national standards. English class and history class can team up on this lesson and discuss the poetry and history behind King's magical words.
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Famous Quotes of Martin Luther King, Jr. - wikiquote

Grades
4 to 12
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This site features countless quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. with reference to where and when he said them. This site can be helpful as a starting point for students ...more
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This site features countless quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. with reference to where and when he said them. This site can be helpful as a starting point for students to find important dates and events in Martin Luther King's life. Be aware this site is user-contributed, but most quotes include attribution to a source. The Discussion tab at the top reveals comments by other user-contributors regarding certain quotes that they dispute.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), black history (59), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Share these quotes with your students around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The quotes can also be used throughout the month posted for reflection or read aloud. Have students rewrite the quotes in their own words.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the Net - Holidays on the Web

Grades
3 to 8
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At first glance, this site may look a bit "plain vanilla," but dig a little deeper and you will find some real gems! The site (all about Martin Luther King, ...more
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At first glance, this site may look a bit "plain vanilla," but dig a little deeper and you will find some real gems! The site (all about Martin Luther King, Jr.) offers research information and videos of several of King's famous speeches. There are links to learn more about King, Rosa Parks, and the MLK Jr. Holiday.

Be aware: this site does have numerous advertisements. At the time of this review all advertisements were appropriate. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), black history (59), civil rights (121), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students close their eyes and visualize being at the speech in person.. what did they see, what did they hear, what did the feel, etc.. Have students write letters to Dr. King expressing their feelings about the speech. Use this site for research on Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Civil Rights movement. This site is a great addition to Black History month or Martin Luther King, Jr holiday.
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Martin Luther King, Jr.- American Civil Rights Leader - Lucidcafe: Library

Grades
6 to 12
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This thorough website provides a wealth of information about Martin Luther King, Jr. The site includes research information about the Civil-Rights leader, related websites, and several...more
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This thorough website provides a wealth of information about Martin Luther King, Jr. The site includes research information about the Civil-Rights leader, related websites, and several video clips. There are also books and DVDs available for purchase. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (170), african american (110), black history (59), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about this great Civil-Rights leader. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Dissect the speeches together with your students. Discuss America during King's time versus America in the 21st century. Have the class participate in a discussion via a wiki all about the speech that you share and how it had an impact on today.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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