This lesson plan includes a list of resources created by PBS LearningMedia. Students will watch a video about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ad video about Black History Month, and then they will test their knowledge with crossword puzzles and word searches
Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan.
Watch and discuss videos about African Americans we celebrate in the United States. Have students test their knowledge with crossword puzzles and word searches.
Racial Discrimination: “unfair treatment of one particular person or group of people” based on their race, according to Britannica Kids.
Nonviolence: “the principle of not using violence to achieve one’s goals,” according to Britannica Kids.
Video: MLK Day (1.5 minutes)
Watch the video from PBS LearningMedia below.
Discussion (5-10 minutes)
What did we just watch? Discuss the questions with your class below. Be creative if you can, and whatever works best for your classroom. Teachers can turn this into a game to motivate students, and it may help them retain the information.
When is Martin Luther King Jr. Day? (Answer: the third Monday in January)
When is Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday? (Answer: Jan. 15)
What did Martin Luther King Jr. do? (Answer: He fought against racial discrimination. This is more of an open question. Allow more than one student to give multiple answers and have a small discussion with the whole class.)
What did Martin Luther King Jr. believe about nonviolence? (Answer: He believed that you should never use violence to stop injustice. This is also an open question and can be discussed further.)
How do people celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day today? (Answer: volunteering)
Although MLK Day may have already passed, encourage students to think about how they can volunteer in their community throughout the rest of the year.
Video: Black History Month (2 minutes)
Explain to students that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t the only person who spoke out against racism in the United States. In February, we celebrate African Americans who have also spoken out against injustice and who have made major strides for the African-American community. Watch the next video below.
Discussion (5-10 minutes)
After watching the video, discuss these questions with your class.
When is Black History Month? (Answer: February)
Name some people who are celebrated during this month. (Possible answers: Fredrick Douglas, President Barack Obama, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr. and more. This is a great opportunity to introduce new figures to students.)
How will you celebrate Black History Month? (Open class discussion)
Activities (courtesy of PBS LearningMedia)
Use these activities to go over what your students just learned.