Author:
#GoOpenVA Administrator, Vicki Hobson
Subject:
History/Social Sciences, American History, Government and Civics
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Lower Primary
Tags:
Civic Action, Civil Rights, Free Speech, Holiday, K-2, MLK, March, Martin Luther King, Woodson Collaborative
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

Education Standards

A Day On: Walk A Mile for Martin

A Day On: Walk A Mile for Martin

Overview

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. In this learning experience students will learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he marched for causes he believed in. As a result of this learning experience students will choose their own important cause to walk or advocate for in order to honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy of advocacy and leadership.

INSTRUCTOR PAGE

Second Grade

Authors: Vicki Hobson, Albemarle County Public Schools

 

Task Overview:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. In this learning experience students will learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he marched for causes he believed in. As a result of this learning experience students will choose their own important cause to walk or advocate for in order to honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy of advocacy and leadership.

 

Targeted SOLs: 

  • 2.4 The student will describe how the contributions of selected individuals changed the lives of Americans, with emphasis on
                j)          Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 2.5 The student will describe why United States citizens celebrate major holidays, including

a)   Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

 

Unpacked Standards:

Know (facts)

Understand (concepts)

Do (skills)

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African American minister who advocated so that all people would be treated fairly,  led peaceful marches and gave speeches, and was an important leader in the Civil Rights Movement who fought to end racial segregation.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day is a day to remember an African American minister who advocated to end racial segregation and promote racial equality. It is observed in January.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities

 

 

 

 

 

  • Advocacy and civic action can promote positive change in our community and world.

STANDARD 2.1

The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by

g)   making connections between past and present;

i)    practicing good citizenship skills and respect for rules and laws while collaborating, compromising, and participating in classroom activities;

 

 

 

 

Instructor Directions:

**This activity would be great to do on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, or during a class or school wide event on the actual holiday.

**Note: This activity culminates in a walk, or march.  It is important to consider how to accommodate students or people with disabilities so that they can participate in this event if walking is a hardship or not possible.  For example, consider if the chosen pathway is wheelchair accessible or provide opportunities for participation in advocacy in other ways such as making signs, videos, etc.

 

Activation

  • To start the lesson, explore what students already know about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Divide the class into groups of 3–4 students each. Have each group create a "bubble map" with Dr. King's name in the center bubble; in smaller bubbles around the center, have them write words and phrases that they associate with Dr. King. After the groups have completed their maps, go around the room round-robin style, asking one member from each group to call out a word or phrase from his or her group's map. Compile a master list of the students' ideas on the board.

Exploration

Whole Group:

 

  • Share with students that one of the ways Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for equality and justice was by organizing and participating in marches.  Tell students that they will be examining various sources (e.g., video clips, photographs, and picture books) in order to answer the question, “Why do people march?”

 

Source Exploration

  • Teachers may choose to set up stations in the classroom with various sources for students to examine related to marching.  For each source, have students fill out the graphic organizer on the student activity page (located on the last page of this lesson). To make the sources accessible, teachers may want to provide audio recordings of written sources or choose to read them aloud to the entire class at once, or provide small group instruction for students who may need it.
  • Teachers are also encouraged to include sources that highlight local examples of people who have organized marches or who are advocates for justice in their own community.

 

See below for a list of possible sources for students to examine in order to answer the question, “Why do people march?”. Teachers should feel free to use sources that will work best with their students. There are videos, photographs, speech excerpts, and suggestions for picture books to read aloud.

 

  • Brainpop Jr. video titled, Martin Luther King, Jr.  (This link is to a resource that is copyrighted and may not be edited.)
  • Images from marches where Dr. King was present (links below)
  • Speech Excerpts and Quotes (see attached)
    • ***Teacher note: You will want to point out the use of the word “colored” in the second quote on slide 2  and discuss the following with students: In earlier times, this was an acceptable term for referring to African Americans. While not offensive in the past, today the term “colored” is outdated and inappropriate, unless one is reading aloud directly from a historical document.
  • Contemporary March images slide deck (See attached; Images are all OER)
    • These images showcase people, including children protesting and marching for causes like March for our Lives, Black Lives Matter, Climate Justice etc.
  • Picture books
    • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
    • We March by Shane Evans (Netflix Bookmarks Youtube link) ((This link is to a resource that is copyrighted and may not be edited.))
    • Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan

 

Note: This is an opportunity for teachers to highlight the agency of ordinary people to change the world. While we know about Dr. King’s accomplishments and students often  learn about his legacy, it is important to note that he was one person of many who advocated for justice and change both in the past and now.

Demonstration

Whole Class

  • Have students share out their answers to the question, “Why do people march?”.  Students will use their graphic organizer to support them in this activity. Teachers may want to have students share in a whole class discussion, have small groups share together, or have students walk around the room and do a “Give one, Get one” activity to learn about various reasons why people march. 
    • Teachers may want to create an anchor chart titled, “Why people march” and have students add responses to make their learning visible.
    • Students’ answers will vary and will likely be concrete such as using the verbage directly from the signs.  Encourage students to also explore the number of people in some images and to consider why the actual act of marching with a large number of other people for a cause is meaningful.
  • Have students brainstorm a cause that they are passionate about and want to bring attention to.  Let students know that they will be “marching” or Walking a Mile for Martin.  
  • Teachers should make the causes that students are walking for visible on a poster or chart. Students might want to make posters to highlight their cause while they walk.  Take students outside and have them actually participate in a walk, or march, for their cause. 

 

Extension Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

For Teachers:

To Sustain Tough Conversations, Active Listening Must be the Norm (This link is to a resource that is copyrighted and may not be edited.)

Let’s Talk! Facilitating Critical Conversations with Students from Learning for Justice (This link is to a resource that is copyrighted and may not be edited.)

For the Lesson:

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDENT PAGE

 

Directions: Use the sources to help you answer the question, “Why do people march?” Draw or write your answers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    by The Carter G. Woodson Collaborative, 2021