Are you looking for Martin Luther King Jr. lessons and activities for your children? Here are some excellent resources to get you started! Plus, Nana has a wonderful chalk pastel lesson of Dr. King giving his “I have a dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial! All you’ll need is a set of chalk pastels, and white copy paper to get started!
The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American national holiday, and it is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year. Also known as MLK, Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Michael King and Alberta King. Michael King Sr. was a Baptist Minister at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Though they faced ugly prejudices, he and his wife endured MLK received a good education.
At age fifteen, MLK attended Moorehouse College intending to become a doctor, but during the summers of World War II, he went off to Connecticut and picked tobacco. There he changed his mind about becoming a doctor and instead felt called to become a minister.
Did you know that MLK and Anne Frank were born the same year?
Martin Luther King Jr. went on to Crozer Seminary and became valedictorian of his class. At Crozer, MLK learned about Gandhi and that Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience had inspired Gandhi. MLK became fascinated by the ideas of nonviolent peaceful protesting.
After Crozer Seminary, King attended Boston University for his Ph.D. This made him Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Movement
MLK spent most of his life working to achieve justice and equality for all Americans, especially Americans of color. He helped lead marches, made speeches, and was one of the leading figures in the Civil Rights Movement.
Racial segregation was the worst in the South. Black people had to go to separate schools, drink from separate water fountains, live in separate neighborhoods, etc. King was one of many trying to bring about the change this country so desperately needed.
“..I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Martin Luther King Jr. Homeschool Study
Unfortunately, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Children need to learn who the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he stood for. He leaves a crucial legacy, and there is still much work to be done in racial equality and justice.
Books are one of my favorite ways to help my children learn about any subject. So, I gathered a collection of picture books and middle-grade books for my children and me to enjoy.
Additional Resources For Learning About Martin Luther King Jr.
Here is a list of books we used to start our unit study:
- Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was?)
- What Is the Civil Rights Movement
- As Good As Anybody
- I Have A Dream
- Freedom on the Menu
- A History of Us : All of the People since 1945 (for my son)
I like to start with just a few books, and then as my children’s interests expand, I’ll grab more resources on that subject.
For example, my daughter and I also watched this short clip: The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Kid President.
If you are looking for additional resources, you may be interested in the following:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Unit Study | TheHomeSchoolMom
- Homeschool Resources to Celebrate MLK Jr. Day
- Civil War Hands-On Homeschool Lessons And Workbook
Nana’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Homeschool Art Lesson
Enjoy this free, sample lesson from Nana’s Modern History Homeschool Lessons in the You ARE an ARTiST Complete Clubhouse. All you need is construction paper and a set of chalk pastels.
The Companion I Drew It Then I Knew It History workbooks are perfect jumping-off points for a quick history study! We learned 5 fast facts about MLK as well as a short biography. This workbook is available to all You ARE An Artist Complete Clubhouse members!
More Online Homeschool Art Lessons
With the You ARE An Artist Complete Clubhouse Membership, you’ll also have access to 700+ art lessons, including all of Nana’s history art courses:
- Ancient History – Ancient Video Art Lessons, Old Testament Bible, New Testament Bible
- Middle Ages History – Medieval Video Art Lessons, Knights & Crusaders
- American History – American History Video Art Lessons, American Landmarks
- Modern Era History – Modern History Video Art Lessons, Art in Space Video Art Lessons, Inventors
I love adding the hands-on artistic aspect of chalk pastels to our history studies! It helps to solidify knowledge and add a bit of colorful fun to any subject.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a significant person in American history. His contributions resulted in the end of segregation at lunch counters, buses, and many other public places. He helped bring hope and change to a marginalized group of people. I look forward to discovering more about his life, his work, and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole with my children.
Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.