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Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

All around the world, people celebrate Martin Luther King Day on the third Monday in January each year.  This year it is January 18th. The holiday celebrates the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was a honorable leader and vital figure of the American Civil Rights Movement.  He worked hard in promoting racial equality throughout the US, and especially in the southern states.Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King, Jr.,  wanted to end segregation on public transit, which in his time, meant that black people had to sit at the back of the bus. He inspired people to fight against injustice of all kinds, once saying: “Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Martin Luther King Day is one of the more recent federal holidays, and is also widely known as Martin Luther King’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr Day.  Some states combine the holiday it with other special event days on the same day. Examples of the different names and special events associated with Martin Luther King Day in some states include Wyoming Equality Day (Wyoming), Civil Rights Day (Arizona, New Hampshire), and Human Rights Day (Idaho).  No matter what state this holiday is celebrated in, or which name it is called by, Martin Luther King Day will always be associated to racial acceptance and equality.

One combination of events and holiday that is increasingly gaining national attention is the MLK Day of Service, which encourages Americans of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate Dr. King through service projects that strengthen communities, empower individuals, bridge barriers, and create solutions. What better way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life vision and teachings into community action that helps solve social problems!  Check out what Day of Service projects are in your area.

Many schools across the nation teach their students about the role that Martin Luther King, Jr. played in helping to eliminate some of the racial barriers that affected African-Americans all over the USA.  His “I Have a Dream” speech was his most famous, portions of which is memorized by students throughout the nation each year.  He became the youngest man to be awarded for his non-violent protests and beliefs. Sadly, this Nobel Peace Prize winner was assassinated in 1968. A memorial in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. opened in Washington, DC in 2011. It is aptly named “The Stone of Hope”.

For those of you with young children who are pre-school age or below the age of ten, reading bedtime stories is a great way to relax, spend quality time together, and a time to learn about important people in history. A few great books to share with your kids include A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.; My Daddy, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. ; and I Am Martin Luther King, Jr from Scholastic.

a picture book of martin luther king jrMy Daddy Martin Luther King JrI Am Martin Luther King Jr Scholastic

My kids often like to color as I read them stories, and when possible I give them coloring pages, journaling sheets, and other worksheets that relate to what I am reading.  It’s a great way to reinforce what is being taught. I made this I have a dream journal page to use with them, and wanted to share it with you. You can click on the image, or the title, to open the pdf in a new window to print.

i have a dream too journal page

Spend some quality time with your children teaching them about racial equality and the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you taught your children about Martin Luther King Jr. and what he believed in?

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About Virginia

Hi there! My name is Virginia, and I am the author/owner of That Bald Chick. I am a Christian, wife, mother of three, full time homemaker, homeschooler, and ministry volunteer in addition to being a blogger. In my free time *cough* I enjoy reading, writing, taking walks with my family, and listening to music.

Comments

  1. I love that Dream Journal page, such a great idea I had to “pin” it. I love the idea of volunteering on Dr King Day. It seems like something he would have wanted.

  2. I love this. I have read all three of those books with my boys because I want them to understand the importance of equality. I know it’s not the way it was back when people were segregated, but sadly there is still racial ignorance in the world and I want my boys to be accepting of everyone 🙂

  3. I don’t have kids but I’m sure if we still live in Memphis, they will certainly hear about him! Growing up, he took over our school curriculum for the entire month of January.

  4. we do read all kinds of books with our kids. they like to know how things were and we talk about how things are and aren’t different in today’s world.

  5. Thank you for this post! I have honestly never did anything with the kids but I will use some of these ideas this year. It isn’t because of lack of wanting that I haven’t worked with them for this special day. I just needed some direction. So thanks!

  6. What great resources! thanks for the printables too!

  7. Great post my kids are doing I have dreams speech in front of an audience at a program and I am working on my sons now. I may have to use one of these.

  8. I can remember having to write an “I have a dream” speech in elementary school in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr day. Now I think it’s a school holiday here.

  9. I plan on this being the first year that my kids learn about Martin Luther King. He was such a advocate for racial equality, and I admire his efforts.

  10. I like the idea of tying in the day of service. It helps teach my kids what the day is about.

  11. I absolutely love your post! Will have to pick up a book on Dr. King to read to my 2 year old. And will ask my 7 year old about his dreams. 🙂

  12. I really like that MLK day has recently become a day of service. It is so much more meaningful than many holidays that are just an annoyance that the bank is closed or a “yippee” that there is no work or school.

  13. The first time I shared about Martin Luther King Jr with my children they were shocked at what they heard and it opened a door for them that I kind of wish had not been opened. I do think they should know about inequalities and history…but, to know about something that we don’t believe in well – I never want them to not love someone based on what they look like or believe. So, I wonder sometimes, when we share things like this are we opening doors to knowledge that could lead to heart issues? I don’t know.

  14. My husband is African American making my girls biracial and we try to celebrate both sides of their heritage, not to mention noteworthy people in our country’s history. These books look great!!! My oldest especially loves learning so I can’t wait to check them out in more detail.

  15. I remember learning about MLK in school. I love that you have this printable. I am going to print it for my kids.

  16. Thanks for the printables. I love them and they will make a great teaching lesson for my kids especially since MLK Day is right around the corner.

  17. Thanks for sharing this printable! He was such a good man, wasn’t he!

  18. Love the printout! A great activity for a kid as they’re read these books about such an important man.