Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Livin' the Dream! MLK Showcase!

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education
Martin Luther King Jr.

Even though I was only a year old when Dr. King was brutally assassinated, I grew up learning about this great man, was inspired by his deep faith in God and respect for education, and have been honored as a teacher to pass along his passion for peace to my students over the course of my twenty-four years as a teacher.

My newest packet, A Passion For Peace  Livin' the Dream is as much a tribute to this incredible, fearless icon in American history as it is an instructional tool to teach our little learners about the impact King's battle has on our lives today.

What started out as a mini-unit, became a (41) page packet to be used with advanced first graders, on-level second graders, and can be used in intervention groups for struggling third and fourth (and above?) readers. I created a six page nonfiction biography/article about King's life; my goal was to include the most important facts, while keeping it kid-friendly, interesting, and embedding important informational reading features.

As you can see in the preview pic above, I included several before reading activities like a K-W-L graphic organizer and a  Was-Had-Did organizer along with two sets of the (15) Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary words from the article I wrote.

In addition, I wrote the nonfiction text using a chronological text structure and formatted it with several text features such as illustrations, photographs, captions, subheadings and more.

Like most of my products, my intention was to create a packet to be used in small groups, whether it be in Guided Reading groups or in an intervention group for the upper grades. However, it is flexible enough to use whole class and some of the vocabulary, comprehension, and after reading activities could be used in a literacy center. With all of the lesson components, the lesson could easily take (5) days to complete.

After students read, discuss, and think about Dr. King's life, I then wanted them to apply what they learned to their lives, which is where the "Livin the Dream" part comes in.

The above picture shows the completed writing on the stationery provided and the topper.  The actual prompt is worded:

Think about how you can make the world a better place.  What is your dream?
Write about your dream for our world on the next page.  Then color the picture above and use as a topper for your writing.

And on side note, I just love this Cupcake Velvety font from A Cupcake for the Teacher that she graciously offered for free on her blog!

There are two other prompts: my dream for my community and my dream for my classroom.  There are many ways to use the prompts, from having students choose one to randomly assigning one.

That's a little peek into my newest packet!  If you have any questions, you can comment here or send me an email.  Also, you can check out a guest blog post I wrote for Live to Teach with picture book and website recommendations for your MLK Day celebrations!

And..... as I often like to do , you can win a FREE copy of Passion for Peace !

Just leave a comment below sharing how you celebrate MLK Day in the classroom or at home.  Don't forget to leave your email address.  I'll have one of my little guys select a random number tonight!

Giveaway is over.

Happy Birthday, Dr.King... may we continue your legacy and make you proud!
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend
Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. We always read some books about him and then do a writing. Love your packet! It looks great!


  2. We are actually spending all morning tomorrow on Dr. King. The kids are going to write what their dream is, put events of his life in order, and create a coupon book for their parents to help around the house.


  3. We celebrate by reading books and watching YouTube videos about him. We then write about our dreams.


  4. Congrats to Ashley! My husband chose number 2! Your packet has been emailed, Ashley. Enjoy! Lauren

  5. We celebrate by reading books and using Scholastic News interactive. We also made a craftivity.


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