11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Recognizing a Leader 

MLK’s day of recognition was this week. It was made a holiday in 1983 under President Reagan to recognize his leadership during the civil rights movement and honor his life since his assassination in 1968. It is important for children to learn about MLK and his life. This video, titled: The Man Who Changed America  by Scholastic News, described him, his life, and his work (Note: This film is particularly aimed at Grades 3-5).

Martin Luther King , Jr. was a Baptist Minister and social justice advocate. Yet, according to Millner writing for Scholastic News, Kids are Missing a Crucial Piece of History related to MLK. It is important as PBS author, Lindsey Pruett-Hornbaker, shares that we focus on Honoring the True Meaning of Martin Luther King Day.

How to Discuss Hopes and Dreams

His famous words “I have a dream” are reiterated in many schools at this time of year. However, do we talk about them at home? How can we address this pertinent subject with our children? What can we do to recognize the surmountable importance of these words and help the words resonate with them? 

This recognition matters more today than ever before, as we see the ongoing struggle for racial equality.  Murphy  outlines several things you can do with children to celebrate this great man in her blog titled: How to Explain Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Kids Including:

  1. Read a Book (See: PBS for Parents: Books for Martin Luther King Day )
  2. Watch a Film (e.g.,  MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech)
  3. Discuss Hopes and Dreams (See below)
  4. Volunteer (See: Americorps MLK Day )
  5. Do an Art Project (See: Creative Child: Ten Martin Luther King Day Crafts and Fifteen MLK Art Projects Kids Can Do)
  6. Attend an Event in Person or Virtually (See:  The King Center: King Holiday)

As you consider all the ideas discussed here, we hope you can take some time this week to reflect on your own hopes and dreams for a brighter future. 

Grade Levels: K-12 

Age Levels: 

  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)


  • Art, Current Events, Difficult Conversations, Problem-Solving, Race, Racism, Writing


Lauren McNeely and Beth Powers


Creative Commons License


Credit: on 01/18/2021

By Beth Powers

Hello! Welcome, and thanks for visiting us! My name is Beth (aka Miss Beth and/or Dr. Powers) and I have been an educator for more than half of my life. I have worked with teachers, families, and students from birth through 70 years of age. The majority of my teaching has been split between young children ages 3-7 and future teachers who are 18 years and older. Specifically, I have worked with children and educators across the U.S. (CA, PA, NC, SC, NH, & VT) and the world (Italy, Sweden, Thailand, & Zimbabwe). Along the way, I earned three graduate degrees (two Masters in Education and one Doctoral Degree) and learned a great deal about children, teaching, and learning. I am especially interested in culture, diversity, and equity in Education. This means that I dedicate my work to finding better ways to meet ALL learners’ needs. That’s exactly why I am so glad you found us. Our team is excited to share what we have learned and learn from and with you and your children.

- Masters of Education in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Antioch New England Graduate School
- Masters of Education in Reading, Bloomsburg University
- Ph.D. in Culture, Curriculum, & Change, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Leave a Reply