Martin Luther King. Jr. Lesson Plans and Ideas

Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson plans and activities are here! Check out some of our favorite books and ideas for teaching first-third graders about Martin Luther King Jr.

Great Books!

Here are a few of our recommendations for read-alouds that are great for our younger learners.

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer

Martin’s Big Words : The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara

National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kitson Jazynka

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler

Close Reading

We close read Martin’s Big Words. Our kids were very engaged with this read-aloud so our class discussion was insightful. Their interest in the topic and story led to some amazing word collages.

You can grab the Martin’s Big Word Collage by clicking here. To learn more about how we close read, click here.

These resources are all part of our Martin’s Big Words Interactive Read Aloud. You can grab all these activities and lesson plans at our TPT store by clicking here.

Small Group Instruction

After reading Martin’s Big Words as a class, our students were hungry for more information. This was their first time learning about civil rights.

We provided a variety of text to further their research. Our students were absolutely engrossed with all the different types of informational text we studied in guided reading. They were especially fascinated with the map and letter from Birmingham Jail.


After we learned about Martin Luther King Jr., we gave our kids TONS of options for writing in response to text. Download a fun writing option here. All of the resources we use for small group reading and writing can be found in our Martin Luther King Jr. Text Pack for Young Researchers. All of the text is differentiated so it makes it super easy to plan for small group instruction.

Bulletin Board Ideas

We displayed our learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes on a bulletin board for all to see. For more details, check out our blog post

We hope these resources will help as you plan for Martin Luther King. Jr. Day.

Click on the images below to purchase the resources we used in our classroom.

Happy Teaching!

The Core Coaches.


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