Today is Annalee’s 9th birthday and I am deep in cakes (Mary Engelbreit’s white buttermilk and a 1-2-3-4 cake) and frostings (Mary’s lucious cream cheese frosting and “Quick and almost professional buttercream icing”) and presents and packing and preparations and cleaning of vans and….
And I will not be much good for blogging for a bit! But it is MLK day and so I thought I’d pass on some neat MLK stuff and take the easy route and copy and paste an answer I posted on my email group about what we typically do for the holiday.
We have a good picture book called “Martin’s Big Words” that we like if you can get to a library or bookstore. It’s an inexpensive paperback copy and nice and short. Assuming you can’t get to a library though here’s some stuff we’ve done…
The girls traced their hands on two different shades of paper, cut them out and overlapped them on a piece of construction paper so it looked like holding hands. Inside they printed “I have a dream” and we talked about MLK’s famous speech and what his “dream” was about (little ones don’t have to do the printing part).
Your older child can write this out and make a decorative border:
“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.”
You can discuss what the words mean and whether you think his dream has come true.
You can talk about heroes and what made MLK a hero, and how the world might be different if he had not been in it. I generally talk about lots of other civil rights heroes when discussing one, so you might talk about how other people worked for change for the oppressed (Mandela, Chavez, Anthony, Parks, Ghandi…) and how most of these people are considered heroes because they “fought” in nonviolent ways and how others try to fight with violence when there is wrong in the world. I know this sounds advanced for little kids, but we’ve had great conversations about this sort of thing where I just put things in simpler terms (short and sweet!) and we talk about concepts like fairness, which all children are naturally interested in.
Here’s some children’s songs for MLK day:
Here’s a short poem that is relateable for kids I think:
I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–
I, too, am America.
Here’s some neat looking crafts and games.
And this is a bit odd but kids would probably like it. Make a stand-up MLK from a tp tube.
And my HS friend Stacy posted these links. I have not checked them out but she usually finds good stuff!
Day of Service from Wikipedia
The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King.
Lesson Plans and more for elementary
And with that, I’m off to do more birthday doings! We’ll be having a pool party at a hotel in a nearby town and staying overnight, so I’ll be back sometime tomorrow night.
Happy Birthday Annalee!!!!!!