The King holiday has been promoted as a "day on" not a "day off" with organizations, churches and schools encouraging people to perform community service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy. Equally important is ensuring that students learn about the man and his time so that civic service is more meaningful.
PBS and Discovery Education have made that task easy with the many digital resources on the topic that address learners from K-12. Here is how to find them.
Login and do a search for Martin Luther King Jr. and at the top of the search list you'll find the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. content collection. It contains more than 10 video lessons for grades K-12. Videos cover King's childhood to his last days. There are also writing prompts that encourage students to talk about their dreams for the future.
These activities have been written with middle school students in mind: Five Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement:
Lesson 1: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Lesson 2: Economic rights can't be separated from civil rights.
Lesson 3: Ordinary people can change the world.
Lesson 4: Culture can enslave or empower.
Lesson 5: Right makes might.
From the American Experience documentary, view these teacher guides that cover the geography, economics and civics of the civil rights era.
This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE's history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives. View the entire program.