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Martin Luther King Jr. Day gives our nation time to reflect on the life and impact he had on our nation. It’s very important that students learn about this leader, which is why I’m suggesting three children’s books about Martin Luther King, Jr. These books describe the life and legacy of the Civil Rights leader. Students can learn about his early childhood as well as the events surrounding his death. These books about Martin Luther King, Jr. are perfect for classroom interactive read alouds across many grade levels! Visit my free resource library for printables to use with the books.
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My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris
Dr. King’s sister wrote this book. I love this book because describes the early life of Dr. King. We get a chance to see what his family was like and some of the mischievous things he did as a boy. We learn about Dr. King’s first encounters with racism and segregation and how those incidents ultimately led him to become the hero we know today.
While reading this book with your class, you’ll be able to discuss how one’s life experiences can shape who they become. You’ll be able to dive deep into the character of Dr. King and allow students to discuss his impact on the world.
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known for his words that led our nation into action. Martin’s Big Words describes Dr. King’s journey into becoming a world leader by using his famous words. This book reminds us that words are powerful and they have the ability to stir change in a nation.
While reading the book with your class, you can give your students opportunities to reflect and write about Martin’s big words. They can also identify ways those words still have meaning today in the their lives or in our world.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan
This is an amazing book! Written through prose and poetry, the narrator describes the events that occurred leading up to Dr. King’s assassination. On the eve of his assassination, Dr. King preached of continuing the fight until victory was won, even if he wasn’t there with them. He was killed while he was still working for equality. This text highlights his lifelong commitment to making sure all American citizens were treated fairly and justly.
This book gives you the opportunity to practice cause and effect with your students. It also has some powerful quotes that students can write about and discuss with one another. This beautifully written book allows students to ponder the author’s word choice and serves as a great mentor text for storytelling.
I had the opportunity to visit the church Dr. King gave his last sermon and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s a humbling experience to learn so much about the Civil Rights Movement and all the risks people took for equality. If you’re ever in Memphis, I highly recommend it.