Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities to Celebrate His Legacy

Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been observed for over 37 years now and this year we celebrate it on January 16th? This is an excellent opportunity to teach students about social justice and civil right and to celebrate his impressive legacy. Using out of the box Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities will ensure that your students will be highly engaged and will learn so much. This week I am taking things one step further and celebrate MLK the entire week with activities meant to empower and teach important lessons.

Do you want to know what I will be using in class? Keep on reading!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Day bell ringers

Each class will start with warm-up activities. This will give my students the opportunity to settle and get in the right mood for the lesson. On Monday, the students will match MLK quotes. Then on Tuesday, they will transform their favorite quote into a piece of art and present it. On Wednesday, they will write an acrostic poem inspired by ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. On Thursday they will do an inference activity starting from a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. Finally, on Friday they will complete a 5-4-3-2-1 worksheet.

2. MLK Day Paired texts reading

My students will also dive for the first 3 days in a mini unit about Martin Luther King Jr. I will use paired texts to get them exposed to a large variety of content and activities. In the first day, they will read an informational article about MLK’s life and answer open ended and multiple choice questions. Next, we will look at the poem In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr. – June Jordan, analyze it and create a fun one-pager. Last we will read and listen to the famous “I Have a Dream Speech”. Out of all the things I could give them to do, I decided that a speech analysis bingo board would be the best choice. My students really love choice boards of all types.

3. Martin Luther King Jr. Day mini research project

Martin Luther King Jr. Day project

Because my students love projects, they will team up for a mini research project on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Therefore, I will split them in teams and give them the ready made template and they just need to fill it in. This saved me so much time. All the members of the group will share the load of the project. I give them 10 possible project pages and they have to select at least 5 of them to complete.

4. MLK Day digital escape room

Martin Luther King Jr. Day escape room

On the last day, we do a fun round-up of all the things we have learned about MLK during this week. I will give my students a digital escape room. They will travel through a variety of questions to escape the game. My students are crazy about escape rooms. Everything that is digital and gamified appeals to them in a special way. So I hope that this activity will give this special week the ending it deserves.

These are all the Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities I have planned for this year. I do not want this special day to go away unnoticed. Therefore, I decided to make the most out of it. What are your plans for MLK day?

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