Classroom Calendar Connections – January 2020


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from high school when he was only 15 years old. He earned his Ph.D. when he was 25 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racial discrimination at the age of 35. Although his life tragically ended at the young age of 39, his legendary service and teachings continue to influence race and community relations today.

Learn and share more about the life of Dr. King with these engaging BrainPop activities – including a 6-minute video touching on King’s family background, the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington, the events leading to the Supreme Court decision to ban segregation, and more.

…everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve.
-Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

January 20, 2020 marks the 25th celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. True to Dr. King’s mission, the Corporation for National and Community Service urges us all to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day) “a day on, not a day off.” 

Invite students to take “a day on” and empower them to make a positive impact in the lives of others through volunteer work. Discuss places within the community where there might be a need for help (animal shelters, nursing homes, food pantries, etc.) and have students consider where they are most interested in serving. (Click here to explore registered volunteer opportunities within your own community.) Also, discuss the fun and fulfilling benefits of volunteering (for example: making new friends, gaining work experience, feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment). More than likely, students will want to continue their service toward others beyond MLK Day.

In addition, this lesson plan, (designed for K-2, but can be easily adapted for upper grades) challenges students to perform 100 acts of kindness between MLK Day and Valentine’s Day. Examples of acts of kindness might include helping a younger sibling with homework, shoveling the sidewalk for a neighbor, washing the dishes, inviting someone new to sit with them at lunch – the possibilities are endless.

How will you celebrate MLK Day in the classroom this year? Please share your ideas!

Here are a few classes related to this topic:

Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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