Monday, January 16, 2012

First Grade Home School Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Ideas

Jakob (7) is a sponge when it comes to history. He LOVES it! His preferred way of learning history is through media. With that said, this is what we did this morning to celebrate the amazing Martin Luther King Jr.

I began our day by reading from the scriptures Matthew 22:39 "Love thy neighbor as thyself." We talked about the fact that Heavenly Father has commanded us to treat all of His children with love and respect and that He considers all if His children to be our "neighbor."

From there I asked Jakob to name a few people in our country's history who was heroic enough to have a holiday named after them. I started the list with George Washington. He then named Columbus. I then introduced the name of Martin Luther King Jr. I pulled up google images and googled Martin Luther King Jr. of course it pulled up several photos. I asked Jakob to tell me what made MLK's face different from mine. He told me that he was African American. I was impressed that he knew that. He followed up his statement with asking "what makes him African and American?"

Because Jakob loves history and war history in particular, to answer his question we went back in time a while and talked about slavery, the civil war, and president Lincoln. We have a world time line on our wall so I was able to talk to him and have a visual to show how even though slavery was stopped, the hate lasted for generations all the way into Jakob's grandparent's generation.

This led us to talk about what life was like for African American's (and all people of color) in the 1950's -60's. This is where we brought in the media:

National shows a short informative video about Martin Luther King Jr. and life for the African American people during his lifetime. Click HERE for the video. also shows a good video about MLK: HERE

Jakob picked up on the fact that MLK was assassinated. He really wanted to know about that. So I pulled up YouTube. We watched CBS' Walter Cronkite's report of MLK's assassination.

From there I introduced Jakob to Martin Luther King's famous speech "I Have a Dream." We watched the whole speech. It was actually too long for Jakob and the most famous part was toward the end of the speech. So I would recommend the shortened version for younger children.

The final activity in our day was to memorize a line from MLK's speech. We memorized the following:
"I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."  Jakob will recite it to his Big School class on Tuesday.

To help inspire Jakob and recognize that he is old enough to take this message to heart and even memorize it, we watched this clip of a school class reciting the speech on the steps of the Washington Memorial.

Overall, I would say this was a day to remember and ponder for days to come. I think Jakob plans to ask his grandparents what they remember about the days of Martin Luther King Jr's mission of freedom and peace. I would be interested to hear their thoughts as well.

We didn't get to this art project. But I liked the idea: Friendship Ring.


Sandra said...

Great lesson. I'm confused though, on one post it sounded like you were done homeschooling?

Lena Baron said...

I know, it is confusing. Our public school only goes to school M-Th. So we home school on Fridays and any other days off of school that it is appropriate (like MLK day.) We purchased a lot of home schooling material and we don't want what we haven't finished to go to waste. So this is our plan. Take Care!!

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