I wanted to pop in and share 4 of my favorite books to use during MLK week. I used each of these as a mentor text Tues-Friday. At the end of this post, you will have an option to sign up for my email list and receive all of the freebies you see here! You can also click on the title of any book for a link to that book (affiliate link, which just means I get a few cents back, at no cost to you, to keep sharing more books with you!!) You can see all of my favorite MLK reads in one spot here!
One of the most important lessons I always tried to convey when talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. in my classroom, was that it was so much more than a peaceful dream. The Civil Rights Movement, MLK’s legacy, and what he gave his all for, wasn’t all dreams and butterflies. Sometimes I think the “mood and tone” of our lessons surrounding him become so light-hearted, that they miss the mark and the true meaning.
Let the Children March tells the story of thousands of African American kids who, facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. It takes place in 1963, Birmingham, Alabama. This is a really good mentor text for teaching perspective of events.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr., is beautifully and simply written, telling the story of this incredible man and his voice for the world. The illustrations are some of my favorite, and I have always read this classic book each year.
Doesn’t the cover of I Have a Dream just stop you in your tracks? This book is a POWERFUL and beautifully illustrated version of his speech. I feel honored to get to share it with my students!
The book Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop is my favorite read aloud to dig deeper and build a more meaningful lesson for my students.
I teach a mini lesson on mood and tone before reading the book. We discuss and take notes that mood is the atmosphere, or the way a reader feels when reading a story, whereas the tone shows the author’s point of view/feelings. This story invites students to see that true mood of the movement he was a part of, and the storm clouds, and dark days that surrounded it, too, but in a kid-accessible way.
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