Martin Luther King Jr.: The Leader Of The Civil Rights Movement
Every year on the third Monday in January we celebrate the birth and death of a great civil rights leader – Martin Luther King, Jr. This year we will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day, which recognizes his accomplishments toward the civil rights movement, on January 17th.
Sadly, many Americans today have forgotten the spirit and power of MLK‘s “I Have a Dream” speech that he gave near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. On this great day in American history, Martin Luther King’s words called for all Americans to work toward civil and economic rights and to end racism in the United States. His speech called for an end to violence and for us to celebrate our country’s diversity as we worked towards harmony and unity.
In his own words, here is an excerpt of the most famous of Mr. King’s speeches, “I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
In this speech, Mr. King makes allusions to the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln presented in the same place as Mr. King’s speech. A full transcript and audio version of Marin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is available on the American Rhetoric website.
To read a brief biography on Martin Luther King Jr. visit the Biography website. We can stand to learn some valuable lessons by reading about great men like Martin Luther King Jr.
I believe teaching our children about Martin Luther King, Jr is essential in their education. No matter what age they are, whether 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade, it is important to help our children in grasping the concept that all people are created equal though they are not the same. It’s a tough subject to teach, but my children need to learn the truth that the only real difference is the color of one’s skin.
It has been my experience that preschoolers and kindergarten students do not see the difference between black and white. Unfortunately, though, I have seen and heard many middle school students make racial slurs and comments. If we want to live up to Martin Luther King’s views and spirit of his speech, we need to teach our children to have their own dreams of freedom and stop teaching racism to our children.
Unfortunately, the world does not see all races as equal which is oblivious to me. I must prepare my children to preach the gospel when faced with prejudicial issues. May we support God’s Holy Word as it’s stated in the following passages, Acts 10:34-35.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Printable Activities:
I designed this printable packet for preschool and kindergarten-aged children. I laminated the puzzles as it helps to keep the pieces sturdy for the children to use for later dates.
- Letter’s Prewriting Practice
- Skip Counting
- I Can Write My Name
- Number Maze
- Word Searches
- What Comes Next?
- Which One’s Difference?
- Which One’s Larger?
- Illustration Drawing
Be sure to check the big list of Martin Luther King, Jr resources. There are so many fun, hands-on ideas to teach our children about history.
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