Further to my entry yesterday https://malbell.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/martin-luther-king-and-me/ I have spent a brilliant morning where outside we are snow-bound (with worse to come) looking up the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr.
It was “a piece of cake” (as they say). I started with the inevitable Google search. My terms were “Martin Luther King, education”. I was given a link to a brilliant site (and resource) called ReadWriteThink http://www.readwritethink.org/index.asp which is a site with lesson ideas and other resources for teachers and other educators run by the International Reading Association.
I then got a link to “Martin Luther King Jr., and Me… Identifying with a Hero” http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=257 This was a mine of information about the life of Dr King and some brilliant ideas for how to get very young children to identify with the life and works of Dr King by “getting to know him”.
One of the links on the site was to a brilliant site run by the National Parks of America! (They really are America’s best idea as they say!).
This site, http://www.nps.gov/malu/photosmultimedia/virtualtour.htm gives you a virtual tour of the Martin Luther King birth home. I went into the kitchen where he would talk with his grandma and into the dining room where he and his mother, brother, sister and guests would wait until his father (a pastor at a local church) would not let the evening meal start before he arrived home (whatever time that was). Then they would have to quote a verse from the Bible before they were allowed to eat and the hungry children would often quote the shortest verse “Jesus wept!”
I found another link to a different lesson plan from an organisation called “EDSITEment” http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=332
This explored “Dr King’s Dream” and would be ideal for older children exploring Dr King’s role in the Civil Rights Movement and his philosophy of non-violence. The influences he had from Mohandas Ghandi and the use of non-violence to bring about social change.
My last port of call in my little learning journey of just a few hours was a link to The Martin Luther King Jr., Research and Education Institute of Stanford University http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php This really has a powerful set of resources for students in high school and beyond to explore the life and times of MLK and also to explore the spiritual and social aspects of non-violence and how it relates to political change.
If you do read this and are thinking of doing some work about the life and times of the Reverend Martin Luther King before this Friday, which would have been his 81st birthday, I hope that you can use some of the links above to really enhance your students appreciation and awareness of this giant of modern American and world history who achieved so much in his 39 years on this Earth.
Your students will no doubt find more material than I have found here. If they do, perhaps you could contact me about this and this and it will add to the learning that I have been able to do using the power of the web.