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Tip of the Week: MLK 2017 Resources

Martin Luther King Day is next week and you’ve probably already finalized your lessons. Hopefully you’ve got multiple days built in to widen the discussion to US history, government, and current events. To help with your planning, take advantage of the different resources and ideas below. (Developed in part by the New York Times Learning Network.)

Start with a couple of Teaching Tolerance articles –  Do’s and Don’ts of MLK Day and Going the Extra Mile. Then head over to the LOC.

Library of Congress

National Archives



  • ‘I Have a Dream’ and ‘The Lasting Power of Dr. King’s Dream Speech’
    NYT Learning Network lesson using a Text to Text strategy
  • Teaching Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Freddie Gray
    Syreeta McFadden writes about discussing “Letter From Birmingham Jail” with her students at a community college and different forms of protest.How does teaching about Dr. King and the civil rights movement look different in the era of Ferguson, Mo., and the Black Lives Matter movement? How does it look as we usher in a new administration?
  • A Day of Service
    The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, challenges Americans to make the holiday into a day of active volunteer service to honor Dr. King. Students can research in the spirit of service here and here, and then design a day of service for themselves and their classmates, or for their family members, and present these ideas to their class. They can also find resources in our lesson plan Making a Difference: Ideas for Giving, Service Learning and Social Action.
  • Watch Blackish
    ABC sitcom following the lives of the Johnson family and openly addresses a variety of serious issues in a way that encourages conversation. The January 11 episode highlights both the division following the 2016 election and ways to mend differences. Tre’s speech at the end and Junior discovering that there’s more to the I Have a Dream speech than he thought can act as powerful hook activities.


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