20 + Books & Activities for Teaching About Martin Luther King Jr Day


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Martin Luther King Jr Day is coming up soon and I’m interested in Martin Luther King Jr Day activities to help teach my kids the historical importance of this important day.  Multi-age Martin Luther King Jr Day Activities & books for teaching your children about the historical importance of MLK Jr.

Books & Activities for Teaching Martin Luther King Jr Day

Here are a few resources I found that I think all of my my kids will enjoy (obviously, not all activities are for all kids). I’ve got four kids and a variety of ability – my sixth grader is reading on a college level. My fourth grader is a reluctant reader who reads on grade level. My second grader can read with guidance, and my 5-year-old likes to listen and create. To properly challenge all of my kids, I have to put together quite a varied list of Martin Luther King Jr Day activities and books so that each of them will have an educational experience, regardless of ability.

Books on Martin Luther King Jr 

Multi-age children's books about Martin Luther King Jr

I checked these books out from the library and plan to read some of them out loud and have my  kids read others themselves. We have been completing weekly book reports so I’ll most likely have them write and draw about a book that’s at their reading ability.

  1. My Life with Martin Luther King Jr. by Coretta Scott King (grade 7+)
  2. I See the Promised Land by Arthur Flowers (grade 6+)
  3. DK Readers L4 Free at Last! by Angela Bull
  4. National Geographic Kids L3 Martin Luther King, Jr by Kitson Jazynka
  5. Ruby Bridges Goes to School L2 by Ruby Bridges
  6. My First Biography Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer
  7. Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford
  8. A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David A. Adler
  9. A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler
  10. If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold

Art activity for teaching about MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr Day Activities

I like these links to activities for writing, math, and art activities with a focus Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. Martin Luther King Jr Math – multiplication practice. It does cost $3 – but it actually looks like great multiplication practice for my third grader and I am adding to his to-do  list for MLK Jr Day. He’s going to love me. 😀
  2. MLK Day Art & Writing Practice – from Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits. This is a project she developed for her classroom, but I think it would work well for the homeschool too. I do wish her worksheet used proper capitalization, but the concept is cute (Craft MLK’s head and body and then have the kids write down his dream and their own dream as well), and I think we’ll do this too.
  3. Another art and writing project -I found this picture on Pinterest and unfortunately, it doesn’t go to anyone’s blog. But if you’re brave enough to break out the paint at this time of year, you might like this activity. My kids would probably enjoy it. But I’m not sure about busting out the paint, honestly.
  4. MLK Jr Word Search – free printable
  5. “I Have a Dream” – printables
  6. 61 Writing Prompts for Kids about MLK Jr Day
  7. More Writing Prompts – I am trying hard to incorporate more writing into our weekly activities.
  8. MLK Jr Handwriting Worksheets from 3 Boys and a Dog (grades 1 & 2)
  9. Want more? Deb from Living Montessori has a Pinterest board dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr Activities!
  10. Variety of activities: timelines, word searches, quizzes (some free, some paid) on Enchanted Learning.com

Martin Luther King Jr History

Lest you feel left out, here are a couple of activities for grownups on MLK history! 😀

  1. Test your knowledge about Martin Luther King Jr with this quiz from the Seattle Times. I’m embarrassed by how poorly I did.
  2. Link to MLK Jr’s article, Letter from a Birmingham Jail – something every older student (high school age) should read and discuss. I used to teach this article in my college level Composition I classes when we used the book 100 Great Essays edited by Robert DiYanni. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for classic essays to read yourself.

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Der Michelle,
    I am a native Scot living in Austria and love following your posts.
    Our family language is English.As the children go to German/Austrian daycare,I try to teach the older ones reading English reading at home.Thats another reason why I love reading about your life and all the book tips.
    Do you follow a special homeschooling plan?
    I look forward to hearimg from you.
    Have a lovely day!
    Love Form,

    1. Hi Rhona! Lucky you to live in Austria. We were there this summer and I love visiting Europe. I grew up bilingual German/English too and appreciate that your kids get that experience. I have a pretty eclectic homeschooling plan. I’ve shared the books I used for our first grade curriculum several years ago, but it’s a bit different now. We mostly concentrate on reading and reading comprehension, teach Singapore math, and Spelling Workout series using Modern Curriculum Press books. Here’s a link to the first grade curriculum we used a couple years ago: https://simplifylivelove.com/our-eclectic-1st-grade-curriculum/

  2. These are some great book recommendations. We’ll look for them at our local library and incorporate a few into our lessons. Thanks.