MLK Jr Day Resources


Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), the youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, is revered globally for his leadership during the American Civil Rights Movement. He is considered the leader of the most successful decade of this movement, from 1957 to 1968, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the massive anti‐discrimination protest in Birmingham, the Selma‐to-Montgomery Freedom March, the inspirational March on Washington address, and his rallying call to support the Memphis sanitation workers strike, where he was assassinated in 1968.

At Mountain Lakes, King is remembered alongside the great human rights activists of the world, including India’s Mahatma Gandhi. Our district honors King's memory by promoting service projects and incorporating his deeds within our curriculum. The links below identify key resources that Laker educators can use to ensure our students continue to learn from King's inspirational leadership.

EDUguide's MLK Lesson & Video Contest

Created to celebrate MLK Day and Black History Month while inspiring students to develop their own core purpose, the activity motivates students to work hard at their studies, the way Dr. King did, so they can follow him in contributing more to the world. Part of this activity asks students to reflect on and articulate their core purpose in terms of the difference they want to make for others.

To multiply the impact, EDUguide is also inviting students in grades 6-12 to create their own video message about how they want to grow their skills to better serve others. It’s called the EduGuide Challenge, and it comes with an opportunity to win a $1,000 scholarship or one of ten $100 awards.

Teaching Tolerance's PERSPECTIVES Literacy Resource

The Teaching Tolerance website offers FREE films, teacher resources and even a magazine in their mission to promote persity among young people and provide quality anti-bias social justice lessons and teaching tools. This past year they have also launched Perspectives, a full curriculum, aligned to the Common Core State Standards that is geared to reduce prejudice, promote equity and support intergroup relations! So, after working for three years, collecting 300 texts, creating 130 student-centered tasks, and aligning it all to 20 anchor standards, Perspectives for a perse America is ready for you to check it out and see if it works for your curriculum!

The New Film: SELMA

The new Golden Globe-nominated film, Selma (Rated PG-13), "follows the events leading up to 1965's momentous Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march organized by Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference to campaign for voters' rights." Read more about this great resource at the Common Sense Media website. The NYT Learning Network also has a primary source-related lesson to go with historic event.

Designing a MLK Memorial

At Mountain Lakes, we foster design thinking as a way to promote creativity and other 21st century skills. As a vehicle to research King's great legacy, challenge students to create a memorial for MLK. Of course for inspiration, students can explore the National Park Service's website to see the new King Memorial in Washington, DC.

Scholastic MLK Resources

Educators at Scholastic have compiled resources, readings, and lessons that "explore the legacy of one of the greatest American icons, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." At the link above, "you'll find biographies, memorable quotes, and plays detailing the struggle for civil rights, as well as printables and multimedia resources about Dr. King."

NYT Learning Network Materials

The New York Times Learning Network Blog has a great new post identifying key resources including selected Times historical front pages and articles, multimedia, and Learning Network Lesson Plans and Resources.

Facing History & Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves is an "international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of perse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry." FH&O has great educator resources for students from upper elementary classes to high school courses.

PBS Resources including Common-Core close reading of "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

PBS launched LearningMedia as an innovative digital platform designed for educators to engage students and inspire learning with quality videos, interactives, audio, photos, and in-depth lessons. The link below has over a dozen quality lessons including a Close Reading of Text: MLK "Letter from Birmingham Jail", a video from EngageNY's Common Core Video Series that features David Coleman modeling a close reading of one of Dr. King’s greatest rhetorical pieces.

Teaching About Race & Civil Rights Today

Go to the Mountain Lakes Curriculum Blog for resources that will put the recent marches in Ferguson in historical perspective.

MLK Resources from the NEA

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization. By clicking on the link below, you will have access to the NEA's King archive of resources that "help students put in perspective Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, and his significance to American culture and history."


In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, has created a special MLK spotlight page that features website reviews, teaching materials, quizzes, and ideas for how to incorporate Dr. King’s legacy into your classroom.

EDsitement's MLK Lessons & Resources

"EDSITEment a partnership led by the National Endowment for the Humanities, offers a treasure trove for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material on the Internet." The link below highlights scores of K-12 MLK lessons covering a wide range of humanities subjects, from American history to literature, world history and culture, language, art, and archaeology, and have been judged by humanities specialists to be of high intellectual quality.

Teacher Vision Links

From TeacherVision: "Learn about Martin Luther King Jr, an outstanding American leader and hero, who was born on January 15. Share the stories of his vision and commitment by using the activities, lessons, and printables below that detail Dr. King's life. There are quizzes, biographies, and art activities on this civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. You'll also find references on his assassination, resources for Black History Month (February), and activities for Martin Luther King Jr Day."

History of MLK Jr. Day

Jan. 21, 2019 marks the 33rd year that Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been observed. How did the national holiday come about? Who spearheaded efforts to create this federal holiday and what roadblocks did they face? Check out this Cervelli article

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