Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

by Judie Haynes

Give your English Language Learners "Big Words" that represent "Big Ideas." The third Monday in January is a federal holiday to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to honor the principles he stood for: Justice, equality, freedom, and peace.

Lesson Topic

The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Proficiency/Grade Level:

Grades 2-8; High Beginning to Advanced students.

Content Concepts/Skills

Social Studies concepts: Fight for civil rights in the United States


Boycott, peace, freedom, justice, prejudice, march, demonstrate, racial equality, discrimination,

Materials Needed:

Books about Martin Luther King, Jr. which are appropriate to age of students. Internet resources on Martin Luther King.

Unit Overview

This topic was taught over a wide range of grade and ability levels in four different ESL groups. I read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport to my second, third and fourth grade students.

Fifth and sixth grade students read information from the internet. One resource is a Golden Legacy History Magazine about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instructional Sequence