REMEMBERING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: Teaching kids about King
Civil rights is a complicated issue for even grown-ups to work out and Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just a day off school. Here are some activities you and your family can do together to help children understand King and the civil rights movement.
Visit the Library
Hit the local library and help your child find some age-appropriate books about King and his message. Let them look up and listen to or watch parts of the “I Have A Dream” speech.
Make your own book
Watch or listen to some of King’s speeches and have children create their own picture books about what freedom means. Get as crafty as you like with what you have on hand or go all out and make a family trip to the art supply store. For older kids, make a collage of words and phrases from King’s speeches.
Visit local civil rights sites
Research your area and find sites that were once segregated or that otherwise preserve civil rights history and make a visit. Or find a statue or place that honors King and his legacy. If you are lucky enough to visit the nation’s capitol, you’ll find many historic sites and monuments related to King.
Visit another church or religious venue
King’s faith was a pillar of his work for nonviolent resistance to injustice. Visit a different house of worship to learn more about other religions and cultures. Share your thoughts and feelings about a different service with your kids and talk about how even though we are all unique, there are certain things, like faith, that can bring us together.
Random acts of kindness
Kindness goes a long way toward acceptance. In honor of King, set aside time to do good works as a family. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, pick up a city park, clean a playground. Work for a better world for all of us.