Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. kindergarten lesson plans and activity ideas!
“Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” is a powerful and inspirational children’s book that tells the story of one of the most influential figures and civil rights movement leaders in American history.
Written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier, this book is a perfect introduction to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for young readers. Through simple, yet powerful language and stunning illustrations, the book brings to life the message of hope, equality, and justice that Dr. King fought for throughout his life.
As children learn about his powerful speeches and non-violent protests, they will be inspired to make a difference in their own communities and in the world. This picture book is not only informative but also a visual delight which makes it a perfect addition to any classroom bookshelf.
The federal holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year in the United States. . However, the actual birthday of this civil rights leader fell on January 15th.
We love these beautiful illustrations!
Other Martin Luther King, Jr. Books for Primary Classrooms
Here are a few other children’s books that would make a great addition to your collection!
I Have a Dream by Kadir Nelson
This beautiful book by illustrator Kadir Nelson is stunning. Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III
This book is written by Martin Luther King III. He is a civil rights activist and the oldest son of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr? by Lisbeth Kaiser
This book is a great book with simple language. It is perfect for little kids. Young children will experience an introduction to the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am Brave: A Little Book about Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer
This is a great little book that is part of a series on people who change the world. It is also a board book.
Be a King by Carole Boston Weatherford
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve….You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s words speak to children in this book showing how anyone can “be a King.”
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
This is the book that we focused on for our week long reading comprehension lessons.
It is a great resource for first grade and kindergarten students. Regardless of the grade level, this book is a great introduction to his legacy of nonviolent marches and the quest for racial equality.
Learning About Martin Luther King, Jr.
As you know,we typically take one book to use as a reading comprehension close read.
We primarily use Martin’s Big Words for this anchor chart, but we added to it based on the additional information we learned from other sources.
We also worked on creating a timeline of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life.
Then the students created their own retelling of Martin’s Big Words. You can grab the dove card by clicking HERE.
Students worked on making connections and inferring! Younger children may create a response that is largely expressed through their drawings. Towards the end of the year, kindergarten students start to respond with drawings and writing.
Sentence Study and Craft
This Martin Luther King, Jr. craft was part of our sentence study for the week. Adding a sentence about Dr. King’s life is great way to combine social studies and ELA together.
We look closely at the Nobel Peace Prize! (My illustration is a sad, sad state of affairs… lol).
All of these Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resources listed above are part of our:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Videos
There are so many great videos out there, but here are a few great ones to get you started!
Brain Pop has a great one. You can see that video by clicking HERE.
Here is another video…
And finally a little bit of Kid President!
Martin Luther King Directed Drawing
If you are looking for a directed drawing idea, these videos are always fantastic!
STEM and Center Activities
Students worked on creating a stand for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memorial! We used dominos and other various blocks to see how high we could get.
We also have a few center activities and worksheets!
You can find all of these activities in our Science, Math, and More units:
I hope you were able to find a few resources you can use with your little learners during MLK Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Free File
You can grab this free file activity by entering your email below.
These are all great ideas Deedee – thank you! Love the retell cards!
I really like the writing prompts you used with your class. Great job!
I really enjoyed the information on Dr. King , thanks for sharing.
You are welcome!!!
How do I get the retelling cards?
Hi Sara, they are in the Engaging Readers units (links in the blog post.) We have been adding them as the months go on, so you may need to redownload your previous purchase to get all of the great updates!
Is there a way to purchase the Guiding Readers for only MLK?
I’m sorry, right now, we don’t have that listed individually.