I recently learned a downfall of studying history from a classical education perspective: my nine year-old could tell you all about Martin Luther, but nothing about Martin Luther King, Jr. Yikes! To rectify that, we recently took a break from our Mystery of History and jumped ahead nearly a thousand years to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement.
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While I absolutely love using Mystery of History and approaching history from a classical and chronological perspective, I also know that it will be years before many important names and events enter the picture for us. I can handle them being unfamiliar with lots of key figures and causes for now, but the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one I don’t want my kids to appreciate for the first time several years from now. That’s why we ventured away from the early middle ages for a few weeks and decided it was time for a Martin Luther King, Jr. unit study.
We were fortunate to find lots of wonderful resources to use in our unit study! With the help of YouTube, our local library, and some outstanding resources that Knowledge Box Central provided for us, we had everything we needed for our unit study on Dr. King.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Unit Study Resources
(Note: I received complementary access to items 1, 4, and 5 for review purposes.)
1. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lapbook from Knowledge Box Central – If you’re a lapbooking family, you’re going to love this one! It includes everything you need for studying Dr. King’s life and legacy: instructions, examples, tons of lapbook pages, biographical information, a timeline and map, and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
I can also attest to the fact that this lapbook works well for all ages. Both of my kids have enjoyed working on it as we’ve gone through our unit study.
2. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader and Nancy Harrison – The Who Was? series is always a great choice for kid-friendly biographies and Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? is no exception. It would make a nice family read aloud, but could also be a great book for your kiddo to read alone.
3. I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Kadir Nelson – This book is a wonderful way to introduce the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Portions of the historic speech and the beautiful illustrations are perfect for keeping the attention of your younger learners as you learn about Dr. King.
4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quick Study* from Knowledge Box Central – This Quick Study is perfect for the homeschool family who is short on time, but wants to learn more about the life of Dr. King. It includes biographical information, links to additional resources, and a no-fuss booklet for your kids to document what they’ve learned. All of the work has been done for you. Just download, print the booklet, and enjoy!
5. Martin Luther King, Jr. Activity Book* from Knowledge Box Central – This 31-page resource was perhaps our favorite tool we used to study Dr. King’s life. The coloring pages were a hit with my four year-old, but my nine year-old enjoyed the rest of this activity book. He wanted to be sure that something from this resource was included each day during our study.
The activity book includes notebooking and copywork pages, acrostic activities, biographical information, definition pages, and more. Our favorite activity included was the “I Have a Dream” speech completion.
On a personal note, I wiped away some tears as my son read the speech back to me. The sincerity in his voice is something I’ll never forget. It may have been an unexpected moment that came from this activity book, but it happened and I’m grateful for it!
This truly is an incredible resource and I happily recommend it if you’re studying Dr. King in your homeschool! The activities are fun for the kids, but also give wonderful opportunities for reflection.
6. I Have a Dream Speech – There are plenty of videos of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that took place during the March on Washington in 1963, but this was the one we used. Experiencing that moment curled up on the couch next to my kids was surreal. We listened carefully to Dr. King’s words and message and had remarkable discussion afterwards.
7. Blast to the Past: King’s Courage by Stacia Deutsch – We’ve recently discovered this series and completely love that Dr. King shows up in one of the books! It’s a great way for kids to step back in time and experience aspects of history for themselves.
8. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes – As a part of our unit study, I spent some time with my kids reading through some of Dr. King’s well-known quotes. We picked our favorites and used them for copywork exercises.
9. The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. from Kid President – I can’t think about a better person than Kid President to share the story and heart of Martin Luther King, Jr.
10. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diorama Activity – We haven’t tackled this activity yet, but it looks super cool and I know my kids are going to love it!
That’s it for my list of unit study resources, but I do want to share one other option with you: this online Martin Luther King, Jr. Unit Study option. It’s perfect if you’d rather have an open-and-go study to help you explore Dr. King’s life and legacy.